Monday, September 24, 2012
Obama's Lead-from-Behind U.N. Schedule
President Obama will take time to sit down with the ladies of The View while he's in New York, but other than making a speech at the U.N. on Tuesday, he won't take the time to meet face-to-face with any world leaders. Says Reuters, "Despite simmering global crises, he will skip traditional private meetings with foreign counterparts and squeeze his U.N. visit into just 24 hours so he can jump back on the campaign trail."
Even senior Obama advisor Robert Gibbs had a hard time explaining that one away when Chris Wallace asked him: "You say that he's got schedules, that foreign leaders have schedules. But the President has blocked out time to appear on The View on Tuesday. So, he has time for Whoopie Goldberg but he doesn't have time for world leaders?"
Gibbs' answer was that Obama will be "actively involved" at the U.N. General Assembly (he's giving a speech) and besides, they have telephones at the White House. Really, Robert?
Up-Chuck Todd at MSNBC "News" is perplexed. Well, no, perplexed is the wrong word, since Chuck seems to know exactly why O is having zero face-to-face meetings: "This is about a 'do no harm' trip, and his aides don't want any unexpected news." Well, guess what, Chuck: the "unexpected" news of the day is that fearless leader-from-behind isn't having any meetings. In a normal world, Chuck, that's news.
The O administration continues in its own tradition of telling convenient lies when inconvenient truths threaten. White House "spokesman" Jay Carney says that O's attendance at the U.N. General Assembly is "in keeping with attendance by past presidents engaged in a re-election campaign." Well, that's strictly true only if you parse the word "attendance." Yes, he'll be attending. But according to an A.P. report, more than just "attending," both Presidents George W. Bush in 2004 and Bill Clinton in 1996 held a series of meeting with foreign leaders in their re-election years.
Updates. Obama is such a petty, little man. KT McFarland, a woman with excellent creds in national security, says that everyone is missing the point about Obama not meeting with foreign leaders at the U.N. General Assembly. On Fox News this morning, she said that by not meeting with foreign leaders, Obama has effectively blocked Romney from meeting with them as well.
"In an election year, it is the responsibility of the leaders to also meet with the opposition candidate. Romney has the right to meet with all of those world leaders too, if Obama does--Obama doesn't, Romney doesn't. The administration doesn't want to get Romney in those pictures with world leaders--he would look presidential. They get nothing out of it. If Romney meets with these leaders, he gets everything out of it--he looks presidential, he looks like he has the ability to be on that world stage. If Obama meets with them, he doesn't get anything."
Why won't the world leaders meet with Romney if they don't meet with Obama? Because then they would be accused, as Netanyahu was, of "influencing" the election by favoring one candidate over another, which would be bad optics. It does seem, however, that by not meeting with them face-to-face, Obama stands to be criticized for his lack of leadership "on the world stage." I imagine he's betting on the lamestream media covering for him, which makes it worthwhile if he can keep Romney from getting any kind of positive press.
h/t to Gateway Pundit
Charles Hurt at The Washington Times has a good opinion piece on the subject of Obama stiffing world leaders while he sits on the couch at The View: "Pundits get unimpeded 'View' of leading from behind. --"And most cloying of all, he brought his wife along so he could display all of his best giggle and banter that makes him such a swell man around the house."