Did President Obama really snub France by being a no-show at the Paris peace march in response to the terrorist attacks on satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo and Jewish supermarket? The freak-out is hitting a fever pitch. I will admit, it looks bad. Really bad. Considering the French are our allies. I don’t understand why Attorney General Eric Holder chose to skip the rally even though he was in Paris? Viens mec!
Vice President Joe Biden, at the very least, should have been dispatched to Paris. He showed up for the funeral of fallen NYPD police officer Rafael Ramos, to show that the Obama administration stands with the NYPD. Why not show that the Obama Administration stands with France? I won’t go as far as to say President Obama should have gone because there could have been some real security concerns. But he could have dispatched Eric Holder, Secretary of State John Kerry and VP Joe Biden to stand in for the U.S.
The Obama Administration opted instead to send US Ambassador to France Jane Hartley. No disrespect to Ms. Hartley, but she was an Obama campaign bundler, which isn’t akin to a high level diplomat. Collecting $800,000 in campaign donations doesn’t make her an expert on foreign affairs.
Here’s another take from Politico:
Indeed, Obama’s public reactions to the attacks in Paris last week have been muted. His initial response Wednesday to the killing of 12 people at the Charlie Hebdo newspaper offices was delivered as he sat calmly in an armchair in the Oval Office speaking about the “cowardly” acts and defending freedom of the press. Two days later, as a gunman took hostages and went on to kill four people in a kosher grocery, Obama took a few seconds away from a community college proposal rollout in Tennessee because he said with events unfolding, “I wanted to make sure to comment on them” — but neither then nor afterward specifically condemned that attack.
Miller said he could see only two explanations for not sending the president, vice president or even first lady Michelle Obama to Paris: either that there was a deep terror threat, or that Obama might be secretly planning a larger event with NATO allies — bigger than the visit that British Prime Minister David Cameron (who was in Paris Sunday) will be making to the White House at the end of the week. But there’s no sign of such an event being organized, and Miller said there’s no reason to believe one is coming.