|September 25, 2012 - President Obama addresses the United|
Nations General Assembly - AP Photo by Seth Wening
The President has been criticized for not meeting one-on-one with some of the foreign leaders who have gathered for the United Nations General Assembly meeting in New York, and for appearing on The View yesterday. Although he did address the Assembly, he left afterward to continue his campaign tour. It was obviously not an oversight but a well calculated decision based on his immediate priorities.
Some of the President's supporters would have preferred he act "presidential" by meeting with as many of the other heads of state as feasible, thus putting the nation's foreign policy interests ahead of his personal political ambitions. They feel he would have won the respect of more voters by suspending his campaign schedule.
Three points can be made in the President's defense: (a) he is very popular abroad and he has visited with and kept in close touch by phone with many of those leaders; (b) Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who is an able and highly respected surrogate, is meeting with those leaders in his behalf; and (c ) with the presidential election less than six weeks away, that has to be his number one political priority now. Whatever diplomatic damage to his international image might result from his opting out of any one-on-one meetings with other heads of state at this time is minimal compared to the potential disaster of a Romney presidency.
The president has his priorities in order, and I’m sure the international leaders understand that. They're politicians, too!