Two guys watched the transfer of power to the new Speaker of the House. They shook their heads and looked, perplexed, at each other. The new Speaker, third to the most powerful seat in the country, was crying... President of Russia Dmitry Medvedev and Prime Minister Vladimir Putin thought, simultaneously, "the guy will be a pushover."
Two guys watched the transfer of power to the new Speaker of the House. They shook their heads and looked, askance, at each other. He was crying, blubbering... Hu Jintao, President of the Republic of China, and Xi Jinping, Vice Chairman, Republic of China. They smiled at each other. Things are looking up for China. They can't wait until they get the new Speaker in a negotiation room. Visions of concessions fill their heads.
Dimla Rousseff watched the new Speaker of the House make his first speech. She was a little shocked. "Is he an alcoholic who can't control his emotions? What am I to think of the United States?" she asks herself. Dimla Rousseff, the newly elected President of Brazil.
Prime Minister Netanyahu turns the television off, in disgust. "That's pitiful," he says, "the new U.S. Speaker of the House bawling like a baby. Give me a break!" Netanyahu, Prime Minister of Israel.
Naoto Kan embarrasses easily when he sees human weakness, or behavior that might be seen as weak. He was raised in a society where the Bushido creed, the Samurai code of courage, loyalty, honor and self-control ingrained in his culture. "Why is he crying?" he asks, astonished. He turns the television off. "Why would we listen to that man?" the Prime Minister of Japan, asks.
And so, around the world, world leaders watch, some embarrassed, some appalled, some laughing, none impressed by the new Speaker of the House taking up his gavel. What a joke.