September 24, 2012

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, leaving Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton to pick up more of those sessions herself.

Obama's itinerary on Monday and Tuesday is compressed so that he can get back to campaigning in some of the most contested states such as Ohio and Virginia.

Obama's address to the U.N. General Assembly, while avoiding any references to Republican rival Mitt Romney, will be viewed in more of an election context by many observers. Those include the more than 130 heads of state and government who are keenly interested in who will be in the White House next year.

Obama's two worlds will collide in his speech Tuesday. He will have a chance to distinguish his world vision from Romney's at a time when foreign crises have intruded in an election focused primarily on the economy.

Obama campaign officials privately welcome the imagery of the president commanding the U.N. stage and making his case about a stronger U.S. position in the world. But the speech is less anticipated this year, seeming also to be squeezed into a pursuit of a second term built more on domestic concerns.

With no time for any of the world's leaders, or to effectively deal with the issues which face nearly the entire Middle East, President Obama is doing what he does best -- campaign. As Michael Barone pointed out in his recent column, Obama is not governing ("leading from behind" is his term). Having already racked up more miles on Air Force One than all his predecessors COMBINED (Eisenhower through G. W. Bush), this President averages but two hours a week in the Oval Office. Nice job for $400 K a year and the benefits are kingly!

So Obama's going to show up at the United Nations to deliver a speech (what a novel concept) then bounce out of there without meeting privately with any of the dozens of world leaders in attendance -- at least one of whom has urgently requested such a discussion.  He'll instead meet face to face with key strategic allies Joy Behar and Whoopi Goldberg on 'The View,' a daily syndicated chat show aimed at female viewers.  Who needs meaningful closed-door meetings with Middle Eastern leaders when telephones exist?  Certainly not Obama.  Don't these people realize there's an election on?

Yes, Benjamin Netanyahu is out of luck, it appears.  Barack Obama's packed schedule won't permit an in-person meeting with the Israeli Prime Minister this week in New York, but it will make time for Whoopi Goldberg's couch.

This is an abdication of leadership, pure and simple. But then again, he lets others do his work for him. Liberals shout out that this is the art of delegation, and what an artist Barack Obama is.

Reuters doesn't mince words about the Obama itinerary:

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.

This brings me to my ultimate question for the campaigner-in-chief:

"Mr. President, should you win this election, what are you going to do in the next four years, seeing the 22nd Amendment prohibits you from seeking another term?"

If I were a pessimistic neo-conservative, I would bet he would spend the next term grooming his wife Michelle or maybe Rahm Emmanuel (or anybody from Chicago) for the job.

If I were conspiracy theorist and talk show host Alex Jones, I would say he will spend it looking for a way to declare Martial Law, suspend the Constitution and pull a Chancellor Palpatine out of his hat by making himself Emperor for life.

Realistically, though, President Obama, should he win reelection, will have four years to finish off the United States and give it over to the globalists whose ideology is a mixture of Socialism/Marxism and Islam and anyone who has a problem with this can simply disappear!

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