Obama forgets the handshake

Obama was in Germany again these past few days, after a great speech at the University of Cairo in Egypt. His words - most particularly his salaam aleikum greeting - really made people happy. I greeted an Iranian today with salaam aleikum and he beamed at me: aleikum salaam, the rejoinder.

Anyway, Obama wowed many people - but when he felt the meetings were over, he smiled, turned on his heel and strode to his car, completely ignoring Merkel's outstretsched hand. She shrugged (on camera) and turned away.

Mr. Obama: first rule of dealing with Germans is - shake hands with everyone the first time you see them. Second rule - shake hands with everyone as you say goodbye. When in doubt, shake again, and then hear them tell you "we already shook". They have a special mental tracker for hand-shaking.

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