Boy, I Hope We Never Need the Finns For Anything

How is it that the Finnish Prime Minister comes to the White House and is forced to meet with Biden?

From the White House:

Vice President Biden today welcomed Prime Minister Jyrki Katainen of Finland to the White House.  The two emphasized the importance we each place on our strong and enduring bilateral partnership as well as the importance of the transatlantic relationship.

Imagine the headlines in Helsinki: Our Prime Minister Not Important Enough to Merit Meeting with Obama.

Maybe someone needs to spend a little less time, five months before Election Day, campaigning.

Keith Koffler


Award winning journalist Keith Koffler has 16 years of experience covering Washington. As a reporter for CongressDaily, National Journal magazine, and Roll Call, Keith wrote primarily from the White House, covering three presidents and learning as few have the intricacies of the West Wing and the behavior and motivations of its occupants. While mainly stationed at the White House, he also extensively covered Congress and Washington’s lobbyists. Keith has also written for a variety of other publications, including Politico, The Daily Caller, and The London Observer. He currently writes regular opinion columns for Politico. He blogs at

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  • Vitto

    In Finland, the Prime Minister is not the Head of State, the President is. So it is normal practice. Obama has done nothing wrong here.

  • Vitto

    On the other hand, when you’re really looking for reasons to pick on someone you blindly despise, you will really find one.

  • sheila4sheila

    Hi Vitto, I’m not certain how Keith Koffler feels about President Obama but from his brief bio above he MUST know something about proper protocol for greeting dignitaries visiting the White House.  I do NOT like President Obama or our First Lady Michelle. They are ill-mannered and/or much too much informal with many other heads of states here or places they visit outside the U.S.  It is embarrassing!!  The sad thing is President and Mrs. Obama don’t even KNOW the proper etiquette and protocols of their respective offices!!  It should be easy for them, I’m certain they have people on staff whose job is specifically to instruct them on manners and customs!!  Just another example of how you can take ’em out of the inner-city but you can’t take the inner-city out of them. 

    There is NO excuse for the Obama’s vulgar manners, no excuse!!  And whomever is dressing our First Lady needs fired!  She’s always wearing an inappropriate outfit, did you SEE the First Family pictures at the National Easter Egg hunt?  Did you see what Mrs. Obama was wearing when they were invited to Buckingham Palace to meet Queen Elisabeth?!!  She looked like a clown doll one wins at a carnival!!  AND….she actually “hugged” Queen Elisabeth!!  One does NOT greet the Ruling Queen of the U.K. with a hug!!  (Sadly, it happened to Queen Elisabeth once in DC when former First Lady Barbara Bush took her on a tour of a Food for the Poor cafeteria in DC.  The head cook (a black woman) on staff met the Queen and gave her a hug while wearing her white hair-net and full length soiled white apron!!  First Lady Mrs. Bush alleviated the utter breach of manners, etiquette and tension by also hugging this cook.)

    America as a whole has ignored polite social and table manners for years.  It is only going to get worse with ill-mannered people like President and First Lady Obama as examples!! 

  • yima

    Really Vitto, splitting hairs!  Just like the Japanese Prime Minister who on his visit here was treated to a brunch instead of a state dinner by Mr. Obama.  I suppose we shouldn’t  consider that a breach of protocol or at the very least, lack of respect for one of our prominent trading partners and ally?

  • Vittto

    I cannot argue about the specific cases you mention, but I know that not meeting with Prime Ministers who are not Heads of State is normal. I am from another country, and our prime minister (who is only the third highest official of the state) visited the US last year, and there wasn’t even any talk about meeting the president. He met with some Secretary responsible for business/economy (or his deputy, don’t remember exactly) and some businespeople. It may not be sound fair, but not every second or third-ranked official of a small country can expect to have a private chat with the US president, unless it is so scheduled in advance.
    Speaking of manners and ethiquette, I do not observetthe manners of the first couple of the USA, partly because I am not from this country, partly because I don’t care. My personal experience shows, people who don’t pay excessive attention to manners pay a lot of attention to the essence.

  • disgustedwpeoplelikesheila

    petty and racist. go back to your fur lined hole on the outskirts of your trailer and sip some tea with you pinky finger raised in the upward position.