Fox News national security analyst K.T. McFarland writes an intriguing piece on why she thinks President Obama is skipping out on tradition by not meeting with world leaders this week at the UN:
Why would President Obama part with a long standing tradition and refuse to meet with world leaders this week at the United Nations? It’s the single time and place every year where all the world’s leaders are in one place. It’s the one opportunity all year for face-to face-meetings, to iron out problems and to sound out solutions and to work, without the glare of formal state visits. So why is President Obama doing a hit and run at the UN? Too busy for meetings, but not too busy to go to fundraisers or to appear on New York-based daytime talk shows while he’s in the Big Apple?
None of the excuses make any sense — ‘he’s too busy campaigning,’ ‘he can talk to them on the phone anytime,’ ‘he can’t meet with everyone, so he’s meeting with no one.’
Everyone is missing the point. In an election year, if the president meets with world leaders, his opponent has the right to ask for meetings, too. And no world leader, who might be facing a President Romney in just a few weeks time, dares to refuse that request. They will all hedge their bets. After all, when the president travels abroad, he often meets with the opposition leader of a country, especially in the middle of an election season.” And President Bill Clinton, hardly one to promote a Republican candidate, gave equal time to both Romney and Obama speeches at the Clinton Global Initiative Conference this week.
And that is exactly what President Obama wants to avoid — doing anything that lets Romney look presidential. Obama and his surrogates have been quick to criticize Romney as lacking foreign policy experience. It’s hard to make that point if there is photo after photo of Romney grinning and shaking hands with one world leader after another.
She makes a compelling case, and I’m inclined to agree with her. This President has proven time and time again – especially over the last few weeks – that he is shamelessly willing to put partisan politics and game playing above at least appearing to be presidential and leader-like in a time of international crisis. What better way to deny Romney the chance to counter the images of Obama and the First Lady on fluff shows like “The View” than to keep his opponent from the opportunity of obligatory meetings with heads of state by way of refusal by Obama to meet with them individually himself, as would be his privilege as the sitting President?
Obama has a seeming (but questionable) edge in battleground state polls as of late, and this President , his administration, and his campaign want to continue to ride that wave and keep that alleged poll edge from now until election day. So it’s understandable why they’ve chosen the path they did this week on the issue of face time with world leaders.
It’s also very transparent what they’re doing … and not in a good way. Leaders lead while politicians play politics. I’ll leave it up to you to determine which description best fits our President.