Michelle Obama: Fancy feet in India, pushy hands in Indonesia?
While Michelle Obama won over India with her fancy footwork, her hands have gotten her into a bit of a bind in Indonesia.
The information minister in Indoneisa implied the first lady forced him into touching her when the two met:
"I tried to prevent [being touched] with my hands but Mrs. Michelle held her hands too far toward me [so] we touched," Tifatul Sembiring told tens of thousands of followers on Twitter, the Associated Press reports.
The minister, as Robert Mackey reports in the New York Times' lede, is "has a local reputation of something of a moral scold and religious extremist." Sembiring has said he refrains from touching women who are not related to him because of his conservative Muslim beliefs.
Only YouTube seems to tell a different story. Sembiring appears to smile largely and grasp the first lady's hand after being introduced by President Obama.
The response on Twitter and on Facebook has been gleefully poking fun at the implied hypocrisy. Female reporters in Indonesia have tweeted that the minister will now have to shake their hands, too, and that, perhaps, the YouTube clip should be shown in slow-motion to catch Sembiring's reluctance to shake hands.
What could have been a national crisis of missed hand signals, may actually win Michelle Obama more female fans abroad.
| November 9, 2010; 2:19 PM ET
Categories: The Daily Catch
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