HO CHI MINH CITY — President Obama stopped in front of a gold Buddha statue inside the ornate Jade Emperor Pagoda, where a guide explained that Vietnamese often portray the symbol of enlightenment as a female.
For the 54-year-old father of two teenage girls, the line was delivered with good humor and drew a chuckle from aides nearby. But it also served as a subtle message from a U.S. president who has tried to promote a set of democratic values to developing nations that includes equality for women.
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