Obama dances the tango at Argentina state dinner, gets criticized

US President Barack Obama  danced the tango at the state dinner in Argentina on March 23 and got a lot of flak for doing so. No, he was not criticized for his awkward dance moves, but for dancing the tango while Brussels was still reeling from the effects of terrorist attacks that happened on March 22.

Obama was on a visit to Argentina to improve ties with the South American country.

(Image Credit: BBC World)

At the state dinner held at the Kirchner Cultural Center in Buenos Aires, a couple of professional dancers performed as Argentina's President Mauricio Macri, President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama, and the rest of the guests looked on.

After their performance, the dancers asked Obama and his wife to dance the tango. Who dares to go to Buenos Aires and not dance the tango? Not even the Obamas can refuse such an invitation.

The world-famous tango, is almost synonymous with Buenos Aires, where it originated in the 19th century.

So, Obama and his First Lady obliged the invitation and danced the tango. They took on the professional dancers as their partners. Obama and his partner dominated the dance floor, but the First Lady looked like she enjoyed the tango with her partner, too.

(Image Credit: BBC World)

The Obamas danced for less than 40 seconds, but the mileage it got on the internet and international media outlets was enough to grab the attention of a world condemning the terrorist attack in Brussels.

Netizens criticized Obama and was perceived as insensitive by a lot of politicians, especially by Republicans. They said that Obama's Latin American tour was ill-timed considering the horrors that the ISIS attack in Brussels had caused.

Richard Haass, president of the Council on Foreign Relations said on MSNBC, "That was a tremendous mistake. It's fine to go to Argentina. You want to do the work, but you've got to be careful of these little photo-ops or optics. Baseball games and tangos, that's inconsistent with the seriousness of the day."

Ex-Judge Andrew Napolitano also expressed his displeasure regarding Obama's action.  On the cable network show Fox and Friends, he said, "When everybody else is worried about where ISIS is, who they are going to kill next, and are going to come over here, the president shouldn't be in Argentina doing the tango."

Obama doing the tango while Brussels was still under terrorist threat was compared by some to Nero who fiddled away while Rome burned.

The US President said that he was fully engaged with what's happening even if he was on a tour. But that's hard to explain to the public who only see him dancing the tango and cannot see what his thoughts were about Brussels and terrorism.
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