“Portugal is not the USA”

I’m guessing this was not trumpeted all over the US news, but the President of Portugal, Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, met with Trump at the White House last week.

The meeting started off with a handshake. It’s clear from this video that Marcelo had undergone diplomatic training in how to deal with Trump’s infamous “grab and pull” handshake-disguised-as-dick-waving.

It seems the training went well.

This isn’t what made the Portuguese headlines, however. The big news here was Trump’s attempt at a joke and Marcelo’s withering reply.

It started when Marcelo commented that if Trump was going to be in Russia to meet Putin, he should attend the World Cup, where the greatest footballer in the world was playing.

Trump joked, “Could Cristiano run against you [for president]?”

“He wouldn’t win,” Marcelo replied instantly. “Portugal is not the US; it’s a little different.”

The Portuguese loved this. Because it’s true. Cristiano Ronaldo might be the most famous person in Portugal (and surely one of the wealthiest), but the Portuguese are not swayed by fame or wealth in their elections.

Not to mention that these days, most citizens of Europe are looking across the pond in utter horror. Having our president affirm that Portugal isn’t the US was a point of civic pride.

The exchange made headlines the next day:

Publico Marcelo

Here’s another Marcelo story that I’m sure no one outside Portugal has heard: on his first day as President, he walked to work. He happened to live near the Palácio Belém (the Portuguese version of the White House), so why not?

No, Portugal is not the US. It’s a little different.


About Fletcher DeLancey

Socialist heathen and Mac-using author of the Chronicles of Alsea, who enjoys pondering science, politics, well-honed satire (though sarcastic humor can work, too) and all things geeky.
This entry was posted in politics, Portugal, USA. Bookmark the permalink.

13 Responses to “Portugal is not the USA”

  1. xenatuba says:

    “Portugal is not like the US”. You are fortunate. I loved the handshake!

    I have read a couple of things today, watched a couple of videos (one of a campaign rally held by the current occupant of the White House in South Carolina) and I come away with this: Our republic in the US is in grave danger. 43 sent us into moral bankruptcy, and into economic bankruptcy at the end of his term. 44 had the audacity to be Black, and ignited the firestorm of “common folk” that will lead the charge into oligarchy.

  2. Lisa Shaw says:

    If anybody ever put a move on me like DT’s typical handshake, I would feel threatened and terrified.

    Justin Trudeau had the best countermove I have seen — he extended his right hand to shake while bracing his left hand firmly against DT’s right shoulder in a gesture simultaneously collegial and defensive. So beautifully played.

  3. Sandra says:

    I don’t think any other country wants to be like the USA under the present government. A lot of Americans would rather not be here either.

    • I hear that from quite a few friends. It’s a hard thing to hear, mostly because I fully understand it.

      • Sandra says:

        It’s are own fault. Those who didn’t vote or cast a protest vote elected this president. It may take the energy of the younger generation and more women and minorities in office to move forward. There have been some hopeful signs lately in some states as you mentioned.

  4. Nancy Flesch says:

    It looks like he was the one who got pulled this time. har I did see something in the paper about this meeting to be a bit back.

  5. Irith Bloom says:

    Another reason to move to Europe!

  6. Sandra says:

    If Canada builds a wall will I still be able to visit my relatives in Ontario? Will my passport be invalid?

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