By now Barack Obama is feeling the full weight of the criticism directed at him over his latest gaffe — his decision not to join world leaders in Paris to condemn acts of atrocity committed in the name of Islam.
Voices on the left have been among the loudest in taking him to task. In a piece at Politico titled “Barack Obama’s French kiss-off,” Edward-Isaac Dovere wrote, “Barack Obama n’est pas Charlie — or at least, he wasn’t this weekend.” Mike Lupica of New York’s Daily News, usually one of Obama’s most reliable water carriers, excoriated him for failing to show up or least send “a more visible representative from this country than our ambassador to France, Jane Hartley.”
CNN noted sneeringly in an item this morning that the White House is trying to weasel out of its mistake, citing a statement from an administration official who said that security for the President “can be distracting from events like this — for once this event is not about us!” The official asked not to be named, which is not surprising. Who would want to own up a statement this lame?
Conservative commentator Bill Kristol wondered aloud if scheduling conflicts kept the president away from the rally, tweeting:
I figured President Obama must have been awfully busy not to go to Paris today. So I checked out his schedule at http://t.co/XHSrUv1EXA.
— Bill Kristol (@BillKristol) January 11, 2015
The link in Kristol’s tweet takes you here:
*UPDATE* Since this piece appeared, the hashtag #ReasonsObamaMissedFranceRally has emerged, and Twitter’s best minds have taken to speculating on what possible reasons the president could have had for turning his back on this event. Twitchy has chronicled these. Here are some of the funniest:
#ReasonsObamaMissedFranceRally I don’t know how, but I’m sure it’s all Bush’s Fault.
— Kent Lindstrom (@thundley4) January 11, 2015
— Daniel Snyder (@danmsnyder) January 11, 2015
There were no fundraisers included. #ReasonsObamaMissedFranceRally
— shirley jean dobler (@shirleyjean1776) January 11, 2015
#ReasonsObamaMissedFranceRally He sent a hashtag in his place.
— Mathieas (@Mathieas) January 11, 2015
To hard to stand with no spine… #ReasonsObamaMissedFranceRally
— JCR (@JCR207) January 11, 2015
— Barbara McMahon (@southsalem) January 11, 2015