Where is the President?
Yesterday, in Paris, the people took to the streets to stand against Islamic extremism. The Israeli Prime Minister, Palestinian leader, the Jordanian King who is a direct descendant of Mohammed, the German Chancellor, and various other heads of state joined together with thousands upon thousands of French citizens and others to rally in the face of Islamic extremism.
President Obama did not go. Not only did he not go, he did not send his Vice President or his Secretary of State, who was in India. His outgoing Attorney General went, but Eric Holder was not present at the rally.
Some might say that this does not matter. But we are talking about a continent invested in symbolism and solidarity. It matters that Europe rallied for us after 9/11 and we cannot show up for them after the Charlie Hebdo attack. It matters than France is our first ally.
The world noticed that President Obama was not there. This is a man who ran for the Presidency claiming he would rebuild relationships abroad, restore our image with the world, and act as a citizen of the world instead of as an “ugly American.”
Yesterday, that campaign promise officially expired. The President, again, behaved as if he wanted the title and perks, but not the actual job.