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With respect to the bullshit of the day, if you’ve really convinced yourself that what Paris needs right now is the logistical nightmare that accompanies a visit by the President of the United States, then you’re a better hack than I thought.

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  • LeeEsq

    I am relatively sure that most Americans really don’t care that the President didn’t show up at the Charlie Hebdo rally in France. A substantial amount of Americans, sadly, probably don’t have much of an idea about why the French had a massive rally over the weekend.

    • Rob in CT

      My wife had no idea any of it had happened. I gave her the short version, so now she knows, sorta.

    • Tirxu

      Hey, we’re French: we always do big rallies for no discernable reason.

  • Warren Terra

    Oh, hey, Politico is parroting this BS line. It’s now moved beyond Fox to become nonpartisan dumbassery!

    • rea
      • Joe_JP

        On any other day, Biden being there would be laughed at as a token thing for the crazy Biden to be around for.

        Now, him not being there is some big deal. As to Kerry, he had a previous engagement in India. Since it is “a routine part of her day job,” the French ambassador doesn’t count. Oh please.

        Laura Rozen is on Twitter focusing on this, retweeting people wanting Obama to “apologize” about not showing up.

        Me, I think there is something useful for Europe to handle things like this themselves with Middle Eastern leaders being there too for obvious reasons of unity.

    • The normally judicious Laura Rozen was sounding like Chris Matthews over this on Twitter last night. But I think it’s getting clear that Obama was not invited, like Netanyahu and who knows who else, but unlike Netanyahu had the decency not to crash the party and be quiet about it. I wrote it up a bit.

      • sibusisodan

        When he [Netanyahu] finished his speech the crowd burst (as I heard first from Yousef Mounayyer) into a spontaneous rendition of the Marseillaise

        Excellent.

    • Origami Isopod

      Erik Estrada works for Politico now?

  • rea

    It is not always all about us . . .

    • Lord Jesus Perm

      All that needs to be said, really.

    • It is not always all about us . . .

      The hell you say.

    • Rob in CT

      But, but, but, we’re Exceptional!

    • LeeEsq

      I will say that the optics of Obama not being at the rally aren’t the best. They aren’t as bad as Fox makes it to be but they aren’t good either. The President of the United States has ostensibly been the first among equals of democratic states since 1945. We can debate the wisdom of this but it is the role that the office holder has been put into. In so much as the incident occurs much of the democratic world, at least indirectly in terms of values, than the President of the United States should be there with other heads of state and government from the democratic world.

      • Joe_JP

        I do think the “optics” can be a problem, see the reaction, but “first among equals” might not always be the thing to focus upon. This isn’t about us. If him being there sends that message, it is a bit off given the situation.

      • sibusisodan

        I will say that the optics of Obama not being at the rally aren’t the best.

        Why? I mean, aren’t the best for whom?

        People not in the US really aren’t going to care. The US President’s presence or absence today won’t be substantive.

        And if you’re worried that people in the US are going to care, you’re worrying about something which is different from the event itself. It all gets a bit second-order.

        • joe from Lowell

          People not in the US really aren’t going to care. The US President’s presence or absence today won’t be substantive.

          The French government seemed to welcome the presence of all the foreign heads of state. The French media seemed to really like showing them. And the people at the rally seemed to be very into having a broad, international show of unity.

      • witlesschum

        Really? I mean, the guys who shot up the magazine gave part of their justification as the U.S. killing people around the Muslim world. I don’t know if the optics are as simple as you make it sound.

        • Tirxu

          Yeah, and the guy who took hostages in the Jewish store gave as his reason for the attack that “French people think that all Muslim are terrorists”.

          I don’t know anything about optics, but let’s not care about the excuses terrorists give for their killing.

      • Stag Party Palin

        I will say that the optics of Obama not being at the rally aren’t the best.

        Jeebus Freeping Christmas. That sounds like the normal douchebag concern trolling we get from the Reich wing. Puleeze!!!!

        Thought experiment: if some loon kills 12 people at a croissant shop in Los Angeles because Algeria, would these same optics-challenged goobers expect the French president to come and March with The People?

        Can’t we all just get along use our FSM-given brains instead?

  • lornix

    I think your post title is missing some scare quotes around the word “Democratic”.

  • Hogan

    Fox goes back to complaining about how expensive and unnecessary presidential travel is in three . . two . . . one . . .

    • sibusisodan

      It’ll take slightly more time than that. They’re still reeling from the gaffe which resulted in of their experts on Muslin terrorism apologising and calling Birmingham (UK) a ‘beautiful city’.

      Beautiful? Don’t talk daft. I was born there.

      • Hogan

        I loved the #IllRideWithYou tweet from the Muslim woman.

      • Damn fine art gallery.

  • David W.

    I can think of someone who is experienced, rested, and ready to go to Paris.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A43247-2005Jan27.html

    • Ahuitzotl

      then on to DenHaag, with any justice

  • Joe_JP

    Don’t worry. Laura Rozen et. al. happy: the White House “apologized” it seems via the press secretary. Quote — “I think it’s fair to say that we should have sent someone with a higher profile.”

    • Stag Party Palin

      Chicken-shit apology. There is no use in being polite with poltroons.

  • Bob

    Why is it when black people take to the streets in solidarity Ferguson, NYC, etc) they are thugs intent on mau-mauing white
    people. When black people don’t take to the streets in solidarity they are showing themselves as arrogant and uncaring?

  • D.N. Nation

    Ugh. Dougie Schoen. What a sniveling dweeb.

  • So how long before they figure it’s OK to start bashing the French again?

    Freedom Fries anyone?

    • tsam

      By the way new of the week, some asshole will write an article blaming French “tolerance” for immigration and allowing Muslims to exist. Preemptive surrender will be the thesis.

  • Owlbear1

    If Obama had gone there would currently be a hurricane of bitching about the expense and the “empty street Photo-Op” gathering.

    The word for today is Fickle. As in, “Boy you Republicans sure are some fickle fuckers.”

    • Schadenboner

      The ones I really feel bad for are the fickles.

  • joe from Lowell

    the logistical nightmare that accompanies a visit by the President of the United States

    And why is that?

    My takeaway from all of this is that the POTUS – not Obama himself, the office – needs to be more nimble. The German head of state could go.

    That kind of thing can actually be important.

    I’m reminded of the Abrams tanks that couldn’t possibly be deployed to a different part of the European mainland in less than two zillion days.

    To paraphrase Albright, “What’s the point of having this splendid PR President if we can’t use him?”

    • Joe_JP

      It still remains true, I think, that the POTUS requires special logistics. Plus, we return to the value of him (or Biden) going in the first place. Germany being there arguably is more important if it is a European/Middle Eastern matter specifically. The cost/benefit of the usage of resources for heads of state is possibly different.

      If it was decided that letting the two regions here take center stage was appropriate, “use” of POTUS would be to stay home. Also, it was suggested that France didn’t invite POTUS there. They wouldn’t publicly sneer at the U.S. while doing this or anything, so them welcoming other nations (or even the U.S. ambassador and assistant secretary of state — who matter) doesn’t tell us too much there.

      I am not aware of some “policy” not to take part in such international events. So, without more (and the press secretary saying it ‘fair’ to think otherwise doesn’t tell me much), I am at least agnostic as to POTUS’ judgment. He is still be “used” in various ways here.

      • joe from Lowell

        The White House itself is acknowledging it would have been better to get someone higher-profile there.

        But regardless, the special logistics seem to have made it impossible, or at least extraordinarily difficult, for the President of VP to attend even if they’d decided to. That’s a problem.

    • Arouet

      I don’t really understand why everyone else here is falling all over themselves to apologize for what was a clear PR blunder. I agree that POTUS – or at the very least, VPOTUS – needs to be more nimble and responsive to things like this, but the least they could have done was acknowledge the issue.

      It doesn’t take a PR genius to see that the Administration was going to be excoriated for not having a high-profile representative front and center for a post-terrorist attack freedom-of-expression unity rally where just about every other Western country sent their A team. If security prevented us from sending someone, just say that up front with regrets and save the apology.

      Obviously long-term we should figure out how to do these things with less lead time and a smaller footprint, but pretending we’re too stupid to understand the difference between the leader of the free world and the resident Ambassador was just clearly the worst of all worlds.

      • joe from Lowell

        I think it’s pretty clear that they’re reacting against the utterly horse-shit, racially-laden
        “Why Didn’t Obama Go To Paris?!” smear coming out the right wing sewers.

    • njorl

      If a foreign organization kills the US President, we will go to war. It might not even be a particularly rational war. That creates an added responsibility to deter such a thing from happening.

  • Tirxu

    This frenchman would have very much appreciated the presence of Obama.

    Complaining about him not being here, on the other hand, feels very childish. It is almost as if this Douglas E. Schoen had an axe to grind beforehand.

    Why oh why can’t people say “It would have been a good idea for Obama to be there” instead of “Obama is bought and paid for by radical Islam, and he cannot even hide it”?

    We can also live without the advice of people who wish to wage war against “Islamic extremism”. If there was something good in the aftermath, it was the fact that most people took care to avoid looking for easy scapegoats. That is not so easy six hours after a strike.

  • ASV

    This reminds me a lot of the clamor to demand that Obama, or at least Hillary, go to Norway for the vigils three and a half years ago. Oh wait, no it doesn’t.

  • Richard Gadsden

    Why does the President of the United States need more security than a host of other national leaders?

    Until there is an answer to that question, the rest of this debate is a nonsense.

    • Brad Nailer

      I don’t know why the U.S. president needs more security than the German chancellor, but it is what it is.

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