Giant on the move
I like to read the tea leaves and decided one measure might be to compare the reception Obama got in comparison with that given his predecessors.
For me, an indication is the most senior Chinese official greeting an American president at the airport.
Chinese Vice-President Xi Jinping was the first Chinese leader Obama met in Beijing when Air Force One touched down on Monday. Xi had rushed back on the same day to the Chinese capital from the northern province of Shaanxi, where he was on an inspection tour.
While a Michael Jordan sculpture stands majestically outside Chicago’s United Center and a similar one of Magic Johnson sits elegantly outside the Staples Center in Los Angeles, it is perhaps fitting that Iowa, a farm state in the largely rural Midwest, honours its athletic heroes in butter.
At the same time gymnast Shawn Johnson competes in the Beijing Olympics next month, she will appear as a butter sculpture at the Iowa State Fair, along with the life-size butter cow, a display that dates from 1911.