Friday, September 25, 2009

G-20 Summit: The Obamas at the Receiving Line

A blow by blow account in the New York Times of the First Couple greeting the G-20* leaders arriving for dinner at the Phipps Conservatory in Pittsburgh:

Ooh, next is South African President Jacob Zuma! Which wife did he bring? The youngest of course, Nompumelelo Ntuli, who puts her arm around Mrs. Obama and holds her hand during the photo op. Mrs. Obama tells Mr. Zuma that she expects him to solve the global economic mess “by Friday.”

Next arrives Ethiopian President Meles Zenawi, who clearly did something in the car to anger his wife because she glares at him, Mr. Obama, Mrs. Obama, and anyone unfortunate enough to cross her line of vision. The Obamas both look slightly
taken aback by her.

Wonder what happened in the car? The Ethiopian First Couple are quickly dispatched inside.

It appears that spouses in high places are not spared the mundane dramas that plague us regular folk.

And then further down:
Then it’s Brazilian President Lula da Silva, with his wife, and, finally, at 7:50 p.m., Japan’s new Prime Minister, Yukio Hatoyama, and his wife, Miyuki, back from Venus. She is in an elegant black suit with a bubble skirt and carries a burgundy shawl.

Mr. Obama hugs her.

“I’m sorry we were late,” she says.
Wonder what the story behind that was and I wonder what the reference to Venus is. Hmmm. E! Entertainment cross-pollinated with a little bit of politics, turns out, still makes for an entertaining mix.

And if it occurred to you to ask "Why Pittsburgh?" you are not alone.

Click away!

* and other world leaders.


Purely Narcotic said...

This is the story behind the Venus reference. :)

Sujatha said...

For the last two days, my long tunnel nightmare has had a wonderful respite- zero traffic at the merge to the Fort Pitt tunnel.
It's highly entertaining to watch Pittsburghers treat the whole G-20 thing with either irritated "Why us?" or "Rah-rah Pittsburgh" platitudes.
I don't know why President Obama has taken a shine to Pittsburgh, but maybe that's not quite unnatural, considering the amount of times he and Michelle crisscrossed Pittsburgh for rallies and speeches.

At least now people will think G-20 and protests as well the next time they hear the name Pittsburgh mentioned, instead of only 'Steelers' and 'Smoky City'.

Sujatha (F-n-S), proud Pgh'er

Automaton said...

While the World's leaders are comfortable and well-fed you have a nation of folks outside protesting.

Did you guys see the videos our media has neglected to show you from the G-20 Summit in Pittsburgh?

I posted a few on my blog over at American Conspiracy.

Check them out, it's pretty frightening, more so that I haven't seen a minute of similar footage on the "big news" stations.

Bhel Puri & Seekh Kabab said...

"Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell appears not to know that these days people kiss on both cheeks, not one" - I didn't know the White House had moved to 2 kisses either. Cha, how un-American!

sanjay said...

Two reason why Pittsburg-

a. The Audience - the Champions left origin three decades ago now renewing the best connect between east and west.

b. Second the gaining glee on Washington DC helped shift some focus down to the East to entice globalism.

Nagesh.MVS said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
sujata sengupta said...

have no idea why Pittsburgh, but the first ladies are surely a sight to behold..

Sniffles and Smiles said...

What a delightfully intriguing post!! You are so clever! Thanks for reporting the back story, Sujatha! ~Janine XO

board said...

.. She heavily invests the money she steals from Ethiopia in the U.S. real estate market. She is buying houses and commercial properties in several states, including Washington DC, Ohio, California, and Arizona.
Her appearance at a special ceremony to honor the First Ladies of Africa for their efforts against the spread of HIV/AIDS held by Georgetown University of Washington DC on January 15, 2007 was met by protests of exiled Ethiopians.Mr. Zenawi also witnessed hundreds of Ethiopian protesters condemning him as a ruthless tyrant who should stand before the International Criminal Court at The Hague and not at the G-20 Summit in London.
Azeb Mesfin was appointed Deputy CEO of Endowment Fund for Rehabilitation of Tigray (EFFORT), a conglomerate consisting of over 60 companies.The Ethiopian economy is controlled by two large interlocking conglomerates: The Endowment Fund For The Rehabilitation of Tigrai (EFFORT) and Mohamed International Development Research Organization Companies (MIDROC), the Saudi billionaire, Sheikh Mohamed Al-Amoudi’s vast business enterprise.

.EFFORT started its business venture with a lofty investment volume of about 2.7 billion birr — then just under U.S. $1 billion.Due to these Commercial Bank of Ethiopia (CBE) the dominant market player, faced financial meltdown a few years ago as its level of non-performing loans (NPLs) passed the 50% mark, due to unregulated lending to state-owned companies, parastatals, and to private individuals with political or personal connections with bank officials.

Sujatha Bagal said...

@ Purely Narcotic, thanks! That explains a lot and leaves me wonderstruck, all at the same time! :)

@ Sujatha, the Why Pittsburgh article has some intelligent speculation about that.

@ BPSK, quite!

@ Janine, I wish I could take credit, but sigh! I cannot, I'm afraid! The credit belongs to a pool reporter who happened to witness the whole thing.

@ Sanjay, thanks for reading.