- By Joshua Keating
Joshua Keating is associate editor at Foreign Policy and the editor of the Passport blog. He has worked as a researcher, editorial assistant, and deputy Web editor since joining the FP staff in 2007. In addition to being featured in Foreign Policy, his writing has been published by the Washington Post, Newsweek International, Radio Prague, the Center for Defense Information, and Romania's Adevarul newspaper. He has appeared as a commentator on CNN International, C-Span, ABC News, Al Jazeera, NPR, BBC radio, and others. A native of Brooklyn, New York, he studied comparative politics at Oberlin College.
After the Gordon Brown debacle, you would think the White House would put a little more thought into planning for visits by visiting heads of state. But Brazil is already grumbling about the treatment of President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, who will sit down with Obama this weekend and is the first Latin American leader to visit the White House under the new administration.
Silva aides said the trip was pushed forward from Tuesday because of the St. Patrick’s Day holiday – making Latin America once again look like an afterthought. Then, the White House announcement misspelled his name as “Luis Ignacio” and put “Lula” – a nickname that decades ago became a legal part of the Brazilian leader’s name – in quotes.
I’m sure he’ll feel better when he gets his DVDs.
I know Obama’s got bigger things to worry about, but there is a whole office of protocol that’s supposed to take care of these things. If they can put together a Stevie Wonder concert, they should be able to arrange White House visits from the world’s most important leaders with a little more class than this.