In our first post yesterday on the Sunday talk shows, we spoke about the White House decision to avoid personal get-togethers with world leaders at the U.N. while making an appearance at a taping of ABC’s “The View.” Here’s the essence of what we wrote:
“We believe the President should show respect to foreign leaders by meeting with some of them privately, since there are many unresolved issues. Though he’s delivering a speech at the U.N., that’s not the same as a personal meeting.”
Many said it’s a case of misplaced priorities. The administration struggled to explain the decision, saying he speaks often with the heads of state by phone.
As we said yesterday, but will expand on our comments today, we’re puzzled by the decision. Relations with Israel have been strained, despite assurances from both sides that we’re on the same page.
Is the relationship strained because one or both are not acting like adults, wanting to not be pressured by the other or angry over past interaction? Of course we don’t know and perhaps won’t know until the memoirs are written. Meeting with other countries also might clarify some questions that haven’t been resolved.
Some speculate that it’s purely a political choice. The TV show reaches more people directly than meetings at the U.N.
Whatever the reason, we agree with other critics. This was a bad decision, disrespectful and perhaps even affecting future developments.
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.
However, Obama will make time in New York on Monday to tape an appearance on the popular TV talk-show “The View” – a scheduling decision that had campaign aides scrambling to defend the president’s choice of voter outreach over diplomacy.