Spokespersons for both Mr. Obama and Mr. Putin have "cleared the air" that there is no new odor of disagreement between the two nations.
Last night both joined China's President Xi Jinping at The Flaming Canard Orientale Restaurant in Beijing, on Quianmen Boulevard.
The word canard is a French word for the fowl otherwise known as a duck.
The Flaming Canard Orientale is famous for dishes such as le canard orange, le canard flamme, le canard tres chic, and le canard orientale.
Mr. Obama thought he heard Mr. Putin remark that he "greatly enjoyed dining with a lame duck."
Mr. Obama then cleared his throat, stood up, and proceeded into a "corrective," according to White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest.
The Chinese and Russian leaders "froze" for a moment in response, chop sticks held high, followed by frowns. But Mr. Obama continued to address the gathering to each side of the long banquet table.
He explained that just because America has a lame duck tradition it no way suggests the President goes lame, although the word implies limping, hindered, under-performing, irrelevant.
At this point Chinese President Jinping attempted "Ahh . . ." but Mr. Obama continued.
"Please don't interrupt."
"Of course there is plenty I can do and will do, regardless of no cooperation from Congress or anyone else as far as that goes. Now--"
At this point President Putin put in with "Ahh . . ." but Mr. Obama continued with "Please, let me continue," and tapped his wine glass to quiet the murmuring.
"Iran is a done deal. We won't see nukes there for at least the last two years of my presidency. As for the middle east you can see my generals have already taken over there, so end of discussion on that. Troops are going in."
More murmuring and Mr. Obama tapping on his wine glass.
"As to Obamacare it should last through 2016, and I will fight on, with the White House Staff at my side, to avoid any cuts to social security during that same period."
"Ahh . . ." Mr. Putin appeared to be trying to say something.
"No need for alarm. The idea of a lame duck is an amusing canard only, nobody believes in it. Now--"
"What I actually said," Mr. Putin came forward, "is that I really enjoy dining on flaming duck. Le canard flamme."
"Not dining with lame duck."
Mr. Obama sat and the table immediately settled down.
Various canards--whether flaming, with garlic and spices, or surrounded by fruit and trifle--then absorbed the gathering.