Remember When Obama Loved Large European Crowds?
Remember back in 2008 when candidate Obama made his bizarre speech in Berlin? Perhaps he passed up the chance to march in France yesterday because he wasn’t the focus of the event. Lots of people were confused by Obama’s no-show.
Jake Tapper: I’m ashamed by U.S. leaders’ absence in Paris
The United States, which considers itself to be the most important nation in the world, was not represented in this march — arguably one of the most important public demonstrations in Europe in the last generation — except by U.S. Ambassador Jane Hartley, who may have been a few rows back. I didn’t see her. Even Russia sent Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov.
I say this as an American — not as a journalist, not as a representative of CNN — but as an American: I was ashamed.
I certainly understand the security concerns when it comes to sending President Barack Obama, though I can’t imagine they’re necessarily any greater than sending the lineup of other world leaders, especially in aggregate.
But I find it hard to believe that collectively President Obama, Vice President Joe Biden, Secretary of State John Kerry, Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel, Treasury Secretary Jack Lew and Attorney General Eric Holder — who was actually in France that day for a conference on counterterrorism — just had no time in their schedules on Sunday.
Sen. Ted Cruz: ‘Our President Should Have Been There’
On Sunday, leaders representing Europe, Israel, Africa, Russia, and the Middle East linked arms and marched together down Place de la Concorde in Paris. But, sadly, no one from the White House was found among the more than 40 Presidents and Prime Ministers who walked the streets with hundreds of thousands of French citizens demonstrating their solidarity against radical Islamic terrorists.
The absence is symbolic of the lack of American leadership on the world stage, and it is dangerous. The attack on Paris, just like previous assaults on Israel and other allies, is an attack on our shared values. And, we are stronger when we stand together, as French President François Hollande said, for “liberty, equality, and fraternity.”
I’ll leave you with this…