In the wake of a rather tragic and tumultuous events regarding American foreign policy in the Middle East, President Barack Obama plans to forego the opportunity for a one-on-one meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu during his visit to the UN this week. The reason is simple. It just could not wait. The president needed to have a sit down with Barbara Walters and the rest of gals at The View.
Guy Benson at Townhall reported on this development yesterday and cited Thomson Reuters and The Associated Press, no right-wing rags by any stretch, who are equally puzzled by this move by the president. From AP:
The world’s leaders are gathering in New York, but President Barack Obama has no plans to meet privately with any of them. He will make time for “The View,” a freewheeling TV talk show more likely to reach voters than Obama would with the diplomacy he is skipping at the United Nations. Just six weeks until the election, the realities and priorities of campaign politics hang prominently over Obama’s final turn on the world stage before facing voters. Unlike his predecessors, he is skipping the face-to-face meetings with counterparts where much of the U.N. works gets done … Both Presidents George W. Bush in 2004 and Bill Clinton in 1996, though, held a series of meetings with foreign leaders during U.N. visits in their re-election years. The Obama White House opted not to jam in a few and risk offending the allies who were left out, administration officials said.
And here’s Reuters:
When Obama speaks inside the cavernous U.N. General Assembly hall on Tuesday exactly six weeks before the U.S. election, he will seek to reassure American voters as well as world leaders he is on top of the latest global challenges. But he won’t propose any new remedies or bold initiatives. There will be close scrutiny of how far he goes in talking tough about Iran’s nuclear program – but even on that point, aides say privately he will not break new policy ground. Obama’s final turn on the world stage before facing voters will be a reflection of where his priorities lie. 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.
Well, we know where the president’s priorities lie concerning the press. It’s cozying with the squishy Hollywood press –who love him – and evading the Washington press corps – who largely love him but from time to time can actually hit him with tough questions that could embarrass him. Hence, why the president hasn’t conducted a press conference since June.
Nevertheless, the president had time to sit down with People Magazine, Entertainment Tonight, and Miami’s DJ Laz — the “Pimp with a Limp” — in Miami. It’s part of a litany of willful evasion that some in the press have noticed. However, will they be asking these same questions next week?