Boy, this story about Obama blowing off the rally against Muslim terrorism in France is getting a lot of play. Let’s look at some of the takes.
Josh Earnest (by name and nature):
Some have asked whether or not the United States should have sent someone with a higher profile than the ambassador to France. I think it is fair to say we should have sent someone with a higher profile to be there.
Eric Holder was in town, but he had tickets to the Folies Bergère.
A little more Earnest:
ACOSTA: Does the president believe that the White House made a mistake?
EARNEST: I have not spoken to the president about this specific matter.
ACOSTA: And you said that this decision did not reach his level. Doesn’t the buck stop with the president?
EARNEST: It always does. He would be the first person to tell you that.
ACOSTA: So why wasn’t this decision brought to him?
EARNEST: Well, Jim, I’m not going to sort of unpack the planning and logistics that go into these kind of decisions.
ACOSTA: Why not?
Sometimes the best questions when asking truth of power are the simplest. Why? Why not? And then just wait:
EARNEST: Well, just because they’d be pretty complicated.
Netanyahu solved the “complications”.
Andrea Mitchell, considering the usual suspects:
Look at the pictures of the unity march Sunday, world leaders representing all of Europe, even Israel’s Benjamin Netanyahu along with his adversary Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, but not President Obama, Joe Biden, or anyone else from the cabinet.
President Obama was at the White House, the Vice President was at his home in Delaware. This comes after a noticeable absence of really strong reaction after those horrors in France last week.
Some comments that he made in the Oval Office, at a photo opportunity, and a line or two added to a community college event in Nashville.
Attorney General Eric Holder was in Paris for a counter-terror meeting, but he didn’t march. At the time he was actually doing interviews with Meet The Press, by satellite and other TV networks.
Secretary of State John Kerry seems to be the only top official with a real explanation. He was keynoting a climate summit in India, he will now travel to Paris Thursday, he was planning to be nearby in Geneva for nuclear talks with Iran.
A “climate summit” in India trumps a multi-million person march against terrorism and mass murder? Obama chose rather to meet with the San Antonio Spurs basketball team, and he had a better excuse.
This president has acknowledged in the past that he doesn’t have the same prediliction for optics, as he refers to it. Images as previous presidents said. He has said it was not his strength. I think it was more than just optics. If you look at the reality of the march, world leaders were not actually marching all the way, but be that as it may, this is being referred to here in France as France’s 9/11.
This is being referred to as a demarcation, a moment where this country is changing.
17 innocent people killed here in France is horrific but can’t compare to 3,000. You also have to look at the fact of, who was the first world leader to come to the United States after the trauma in 2001 who was it?
The president of France. Jacques Chirac came to Washington D.C. and New York right after 9/11, within a week and a half or so.
How far has the Messiah tumbled when he prompts unfavorable comparisons to Jacques-[bleepin’]-Chirac?
But enough with the lap dogs of the press. Jonah Goldberg:
I mean, look, first of all, the guy with the Greek columns, the guy who campaigned in Berlin that somehow he doesn’t like the the theater of politics strikes me as a little ridiculous. The pattern here is that whenever they blow it with their communication shop, the pattern is to then say, ‘well, we’re just too good for the optics,’ but other times they’re perfectly happy to exploit optics and do theater, just sometimes they’re bad at it and say — It’s like when you trip and you say I meant to do that.
Look, everyone agrees that this was a mistake. The question is why this is a mistake.
Goldberg has his theory. And Rush Limbaugh has his:
He’s not gonna subject himself. He’s not going to put himself in a group where he is seen as one of many, many equals.
The other thing is, what was being condemned here? Militant Islam was on the plate here for being condemned. Now let’s face it. This is the president, who at the United Nations, said that we must never allow the word of the prophet to be smeared. I’m paraphrasing. This is the president who wrote that one of the most beautiful sounds he’s ever heard is the morning call to prayer at a mosque in a city where Islam is being practiced. The White House is saying, nah, Obama couldn’t go because this wasn’t about Obama. That’s exactly right, by the way. They may be trying compliment or stave things off, it wasn’t about Obama, so why should he be there? He wasn’t gonna go out and be about, you know, one of 40 people doing the same thing.
There are many other comments and opinions. This is just a sample.