I was not present so I have no way of knowing if this article and the accompanying picture depict how events actually unfolded, but they do present an interesting scene. They also show rather clearly which of the major Democratic candidates for president has the most political experience and the more developed people skills…
WASHINGTON (AP) – So close, yet so far away – and so bitter.
Rival Democrats Hillary Rodham Clinton and Barack Obama came within a foot of each other just before President Bush’s State of the Union speech Monday night and managed not to acknowledge each other, and certainly not touch.
Clinton, clad in scarlet, crossed the aisle between their seats on the House floor and reached out a hand to greet Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, the Democratic icon whose endorsement she had courted only to lose it to Obama.
Kennedy shook her hand while Obama, wearing a dark suit and standing between the two, turned away.
The rivals then retreated to their seats, only the aisle and four senators between them.
It was the latest chapter in the increasingly nasty fight between the two leading candidates for the Democratic presidential nomination and capped a dramatic day.
Hours earlier, Obama received the endorsements of Kennedy and Caroline Kennedy, the brother and daughter, respectively, of President John F. Kennedy. They were joined by Rep. Patrick Kennedy, D-R.I., the senator’s son.
The only Republican senator still running, John McCain of Arizona, skipped the address to campaign in Florida.
I hope this is not some sort of insight into Senator Obama’s personality. We currently have a petulant, childish president. We do not need another.
Speaking about the moment Tuesday morning, Obama advisor David Axelrod said in an interview on MSNBC the Illinois senator was not trying to snub Clinton.
“I think he knew that Senator Kennedy and Senator Clinton were friends,” he said. “This was obviously an awkward day from that standpoint, and I don’t think he wanted to stand there while Senator Kennedy was greeting Senator Clinton. And I think that was an appropriate sentiment.”
Speaking to reporters Tuesday, the Illinois senator said all the talk swirling around the moment the two crossed paths Monday night is much ado about nothing. (Watch Obama comment on the moment.)
“I was surprised by sort of the reports this morning,” Obama told reporters. “You know there was the photograph in the Times about, sort of, me turning away. I was turning away because [Sen.] Claire [McCaskill] asked me a question as Sen. [Ted] Kennedy was reaching for her.”
“Sen. Clinton and I have very cordial relations off the floor and on the floor. I waved at her as we were coming into the Senate chamber before we walked over last night,” he continued. “I think that there’s just a lot more tea leaf reading going on here than I think people are suggesting.”
I guess snubs are in the eyes of the beholders.