Yesterday, two Saudi crown princes arrived to meet with President Obama at the Oval Office, after King Salman refused to meet Obama at the Gulf summit or at the White House.
White House officials should have been careful to make sure everything with the two top Saudi officials went smoothly — but instead, Obama flubbed on the deputy crown prince’s name and the name of the king who forged America’s relationship with Saudi Arabia, King Abdul Aziz ibn Saud. The prince sat stony-faced as Obama makes the error.
Mistake #1: The deputy crown prince’s name is actually Mohammed bin Salman (bin means son of in Arabic); his father’s name is Salman.
Mistake #2: The King whom President Obama called King Faisal is actually King Abdul Aziz ibn Saud, who met with Roosevelt. That king’s son was named Faisal.
Getting the names wrong “will deepen the sense in the Gulf and the wider Middle East that the president of the United States does not know what he is doing in their region,” said Elliott Abrams from The Council on Foreign Relations.
As I’ve wondered before: did the White House fire its protocol officer? Or is it just that Barry is a better protocol officer than his protocol officer? He looks more like what he actually is: an in-over-his-head college kid who was up late partying the night before, furiously vamping in order the snow the teacher.