Barack Obama - Bowing to the King
In the final days of the G20 summit of April 2009, the leaders of the nations attending the event were gathering for a photo opportunity. As each leader arrived they were informally introduced into the room and greeted by the other dignitaries. When President Obama entered the room, he proceeded to King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia and bowed while holding his hand. The bow was not a simple nod of formality or recognition. The President's upper torso was at a 90 degree angle with his lower torso, and he holds that position for almost a full second as seen in the video below.
White House Response
At a press conference on April 9, 2009, Dan Lothian asked White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs to clarify the event. The following exchange took place:
LOTHIAN: When the President met with King Abdullah, there was something that took place which I believe the White House explained was just the president being taller than the king. We took a look at the video, and it does appear that the president actually bowed to King Abdullah. Did he bow or didn't he?
GIBBS: No, I think he bent over with both, to shake -- with both hands to shake his hand, so I don't--
LOTHIAN: -- one hand --
GIBBS: Well I... [laughter]
LOTHIAN: Did he bow or didn't he?
GIBBS: No. But I think this meeting was like a week ago, right?
LOTHIAN: That's right but this is something a lot of people are talking about today.
GIBBS: I can only imagine it is of great cause and concern for many people struggling with the economy.
 Website: Huffington Post Article: Obama "Bow" To Saudis: CNN Reporter Asks White House To Clarify Author: NA Accessed on: 04/20/2010