Published April 09, 2009
Now some fresh pickings from the Political Grapevine:
Almost every media outlet covered the story when then-President Bush held hands with then-Saudi Crown Prince Abdullah in 2005. The incident took place at the president's Texas ranch. But a gesture by president Obama to King Abdullah at London's G20 summit last week is getting very little attention.
Only some conservative media outlets have criticized the president and accused him of bowing to the Saudi leader. White House press secretary Robert Gibbs insists the president did not bow — adding dismissively — "he used both hands to shake (Abdullah's) hand... I'm sure it's of great cause and concern to people struggling in this economy."
But Michael Goldfarb at the Weekly Standard called the alleged bow "a violation of more than two centuries of tradition and protocol holding that American presidents never bow before royalty."
House of Wax
A wax figure of first lady Michelle Obama was unveiled at Madame Tussauds Washington museum this week The museum's inventory also includes former first ladies Hillary Clinton and Jacqueline Kennedy.
The Washington Times points out the museum has not immortalized a single Republican first lady. There is no Nancy Reagan, no Betty Ford, and no Laura or Barbara Bush. Rosemary del Prado, the museum's Washington marketing director, says, "There have not been enough requests. There was overwhelming support for a Michelle Obama figure because of her being a fashion icon and mother."
But Republican National Committee Communications Director Trevor Francis says "both American history and the American people have embraced Republican first ladies. It's only fitting that the wax museum do the same."
Too Much Information
Today's edition of the White House daily schedule had a lot more information on it than usual. That's because the White House press office inadvertently e-mailed a draft version of President Obama's schedule last night — without deleting an internal back-and-forth among staffers.
It was sent to various news organizations including FOX. No sensitive information was released. But one message by an unnamed White House aide notes complaints the White House received from members of the Jewish community about a planned Passover dinner hosted by the president: "Apparently Jewish here and in neighboring states are now calling wondering why they have not been invited."
One aide suggests the dinner be dropped from the schedule, but another responds that is not an option because it was listed on Wednesday's schedule. Aides also failed to notice that the wrong day was listed at the top of the schedule.
Bad Break Up
And ancient Islamic law has intersected with 21st century technology. For the first time, a Saudi man has divorced his wife via text message. A local newspaper reports the man was in Iraq participating in jihad against Iraqi and U.S. forces, when he messaged his wife that she was no longer his spouse. A court later finalized the split. Saudi Arabia practices a strict form of Sharia law allowing a man to divorce his wife by saying — or now texting —"I divorce you" — three times.
— FOX News Channel's Zachary Kenworthy contributed to this report.