President Obama on 'The View': Should he have skipped it? (+video)
For the annual meeting of the UN General Assembly, Obama was in New York for 24 hours. He appeared on two TV shows but met one-on-one with no world leaders. A missed opportunity perhaps, but the election is in six weeks.
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On "The View," for instance, Barack and Michelle got to indulge in a little First Couple Nick-and-Nora (look it up) banter about whether Michelle should run for office. Barack indicated she wasn’t temperamentally suited for the job, and, uh, Michelle agreed she’s not patient.Skip to next paragraph
Peter Grier is The Christian Science Monitor's Washington editor. In this capacity, he helps direct coverage for the paper on most news events in the nation's capital.
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The president got to ruminate about what he’d do after his term, saying he’d like to work with young people. He talked guardedly about the murder of the US ambassador in Libya, walking right up to the edge of calling it a pre-planned terrorist attack.
Obama’s campaign team was probably pretty happy with the whole thing.
Second, we think the Netanyahu meeting is a separate issue. Obama did not turn that down due to time pressure. He did not want to do it for policy reasons. Now, one can argue about that – Romney says Obama is snubbing one of our most important allies – but “The View” really has little to do with that dispute.
As to meeting other leaders, Obama’s missing a chance to develop deeper personal relationships. An in-depth story in today’s New York Times notes that’s something Obama lacks in the Middle East in particular.
So yes, that may be a negative. But if you’re Obama, you may be thinking that the election is in six weeks, and if you lose, it doesn’t matter if your ties to the Saudi royal family are on the upswing.
Thus Obama is spending only 24 hours in the Big Apple. He spent Monday night at a UN reception where many other world leaders were present, noted White House spokesman Jay Carney. Tuesday he gave the traditional high-profile UN opening address by a US president.
“It’s a real moment for the US to assert its values and its leadership role,” Carney said Monday at a press briefing.
So what's the president doing instead of hanging around New York? On Wednesday, he heads out (surprise!) on the campaign trail. He’ll be going to Ohio, the most important of the battleground states in the 2012 election.