Ben Johnson, The White House Watch
If Dan Quayle, Sarah Palin, or George W. Bush had so flubbed royal protocol that the Queen of England politely ignored them, every major network would have played the clip on continuous loop and the late night comedians would belittle the rustic rubes for days.
Did you know Barack Obama did this very thing during his state dinner with Queen Elizabeth II, sovereign of Great Britain — that The One screwed up his toast to QE2? Thought not.
Obama weakly read a toast from notes sitting on his table. (Perhaps his TelePrompter could not clear customs?) As he wound up, he raised his glass — as the band began to play the royal anthem, “God Save the Queen.” (Older Americans and homeschoolers will know the tune as “My Country ‘Tis of Thee.”) No one is to toast during that time but instead to stand in respect. Obama does not do this for our national anthem, so he raised his glass — as the entire hall stood with their hands at their sides, waiting for the song to end. Then the Queen politely toasted back.
For some reason, he did not bow to the queen on this trip, according to Andrea Mitchell.
At least he did not offer her a groovy iPod filled with show tunes this time.