Obama cancels public-square appearance in Rio

posted at 12:55 pm on March 18, 2011 by Ed Morrissey

First he cancels his award presentation for openness on a day when he held no open events for press coverage.  Now Barack Obama has canceled his triumphal appearance in Rio de Janeiro after criticism arose over his travels to Brazil.  But which criticism shut it down?

President Barack Obama has cancelled a public speech he was scheduled to deliver Sunday in a Rio square during his upcoming visit to Brazil, the US embassy in Brasilia said.

The speech in the historic plaza known as Cinelandia, in the heart of Rio de Janeiro, “is cancelled,” an embassy spokeswoman told AFP.

Obama has taken a lot of heat at home for this trip, to the point where the President felt the need to defend it this morning in USA Today.  Most of that criticism has focused on Obama’s absence during the continuing budget crisis and the potential for military intervention in Libya.  Some in the US have wondered whether Obama is more interested in self-aggrandizing grand receptions by an adoring public abroad than in dealing with specific problems at home, where Obamamania has long ago worn thin.

The White House gave no explanation to AFP for the change in plans, but AFP’s report suggests that it wasn’t domestic criticism that prompted the cancellation.  Yesterday, the US security team scoped out the Cinelandia and found a series of anti-US signage hinting at a counterdemonstration.  It turns out that while American unions love Obama, Brazilian unions and “social groups” have a different take:

Some social and union groups have declared Obama a “persona non grata” and called for a protest, accusing him of a “bellicose policy of occupation” in foreign countries, and of attacking people “in the name of the war on terror.

So Obama has lost the community organizers in Brazil, eh?  One might imagine that a military intervention in Libya would have exacerbated the issue with these groups, who apparently think Obama is too conservative for their tastes.  The optics of a major protest at a massive outdoor rally doesn’t appear to have appealed to Obama regardless of what the protest message turned out to be.

The speech has been moved indoors to a much smaller venue, the Municipal Theatre.  Obama’s team wouldn’t specify if the speech would be open to the public, but given the circumstances, it seems likely that they will control access to avoid messy displays of disapproval.  The White House has apparently decided to take  a much lower profile on this trip than first planned, and given the circumstances both at home and abroad, it’s the second-wisest course to take — other than postponing it altogether.


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So Obama has lost the community organizers in Brazil, eh? One might imagine that a military intervention in Libya would have exacerbated the issue with these groups, who apparently think Obama is too conservative for their tastes.

Be a lot easier to be president of China.

a capella on March 18, 2011 at 1:00 PM

If we would just skinny up our children there wouldn’t be a reason for these people to hate us.

Limerick on March 18, 2011 at 1:00 PM

Blame it on Rio, Baracky.

Will he be holding a closed-to-the-press fundraiser at the indoor event?

JammieWearingFool on March 18, 2011 at 1:00 PM

Even Jimmy Carter calls now calls BHO, “the weakest president in history.”

Ace ODale on March 18, 2011 at 1:00 PM

Yea. Such horrible things we are doing to Iraqis and afghanis, bringin them modernity and all that. So horrible.

/

The world is insane.

blatantblue on March 18, 2011 at 1:01 PM

Will Petrobras officials be there to thank him for our $20B gift/loan and the permission to drill for oil in the Gulf of Mexico? Maybe the unionistas could hold a little protest outside. Seems as if the dems always run away when the going gets tough, ala WI.

Kissmygrits on March 18, 2011 at 1:04 PM

You can just imagine what Chris “Tingles” Matthews take on this one is going to be on “Hardball” tonight.

pilamaye on March 18, 2011 at 1:04 PM

Every time Obama speaks in a country, some crazy sh!t happens afterwords.
Obama likes Brazil so he won’t speak.

Electrongod on March 18, 2011 at 1:05 PM

You might be over-thinking a bit. Could just be security risks and Secret Service logistical support.

swamp_yankee on March 18, 2011 at 1:05 PM

Over-exposed, and well past it’s sell-by date, I detect the whiff of spoilage on this presidency.

Joe Mama on March 18, 2011 at 1:05 PM

Nooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo!

How dare they do this to the President of the World?!

Khun Joe on March 18, 2011 at 1:06 PM

Actually, it was canceled due to a logistics problem. Couldn’t get his Styrofoam Greek columns there in time.

petefrt on March 18, 2011 at 1:07 PM

The optics of a major protest at a massive outdoor rally doesn’t appear to have appealed to Obama regardless of what the protest message turned out to be.

More important, Bob Herbert of The New York Times pointed out to the White House that there were phallic symbols that would be scene in the background as Obama spoke.

/

BuckeyeSam on March 18, 2011 at 1:07 PM

Will Michelle still be available for photo-ops dressed in native, Carnival costume?

a capella on March 18, 2011 at 1:07 PM

Most of that criticism has focused on Obama’s absence during the continuing budget crisis and the potential for military intervention in Libya.

I’m not sure he has the political capital to expend on fighting over the budget…primarily that’s Congress’s job anyway. Besides He knows that the Republicans can only cut so much and that such cuts are pretty meaningless.

As for Libya, I think he/us should stay out of it anyway, so that’s not a problem for me…though it would be nice if he would tell us why he’s not saying much about it.

Dr. ZhivBlago on March 18, 2011 at 1:07 PM

Has the Las Vegas betting line on Kansas changed since Scooter made his picks?

a capella on March 18, 2011 at 1:10 PM

Obama’s team wouldn’t specify if the speech would be open to the public, but given the circumstances, it seems likely that they will control access to avoid messy displays of disapproval.

What a coward! You can’t hide forever, such a shame other countries won’t spin your numbers for ya…

SHARPTOOTH on March 18, 2011 at 1:11 PM

I can’t stand Obama and cant wait until 2012 when hectare tossed out if office. Obama the Poseur President, the Emperor with no clothe!

CCRWM on March 18, 2011 at 1:12 PM

So is Rio gonna rub the 2016 Olympics in his face?

WashJeff on March 18, 2011 at 1:12 PM

Breaking….demonstrators fired on in Damascus. Barry disconnects from his 4G.

Limerick on March 18, 2011 at 1:13 PM

The White House has apparently decided to take a much lower profile on this trip than first planned, and given the circumstances both at home and abroad, it’s the second-wisest course to take — other than postponing it altogether.

heh. i see what you did there.

ted c on March 18, 2011 at 1:15 PM

Obama: “You mean I can’t speak outside? I love the outdoors.”

Secret Service: “That’s right, Mr. President, it’s now indoors.”

Obama: “Wait a minute….Can I still play golf? That’s outdoors, right?”

Secret Service: “Do you want to play golf Mr. President?”

Obama: “Ummmmmm, Ummmmm……”

Secret Service: “It’s only a question, sir.”

Obama: “Ummmmmm…………..Ummmmmmmmmmmm…”

Secret Service: “Should I just go ask Jake Tapper, sir?”

BacaDog on March 18, 2011 at 1:17 PM

This must be hard for him. He craves the adulation. He’s hollow without it. “Fore!”

Mason on March 18, 2011 at 1:17 PM

Some in the US have wondered whether Obama is more interested in self-aggrandizing grand receptions by an adoring public abroad than in dealing with specific problems at home, where Obamamania has long ago worn thin.

There are people who still wonder after two years of EgObama?

irishspy on March 18, 2011 at 1:17 PM

How are the mighty fallen!

Remember this?

Mary in LA on March 18, 2011 at 1:17 PM

Sucks to be you, Comrade Barry…..

joe btfsplk on March 18, 2011 at 1:19 PM

Is he doing soccer picks now?

Oil Can on March 18, 2011 at 1:19 PM

WHAT?

Speechwriters unning out of scipts “I, my, me, mine,…..” to make him look good?

Sir Napsalot on March 18, 2011 at 1:20 PM

He simply needed more time for golf…

PatriotRider on March 18, 2011 at 1:21 PM

Maybe the teleprompter broke…

PatriotRider on March 18, 2011 at 1:23 PM

Oh no! You mean we won’t be able to see Caesar’s triumphant march into Rome? Too bad Obama but when the wheels fall off your chariot the grandeur tends to fizzle.

rplat on March 18, 2011 at 1:25 PM

Some in the US have wondered whether Obama is more interested in self-aggrandizing grand receptions by an adoring public abroad than in dealing with specific problems at home, where Obamamania has long ago worn thin.

You mean, ‘some’ of the 52% used their ‘free’ healthcare to pull their heads out of their a$$es?
Once again, if Booooosh would have done this…..

HornetSting on March 18, 2011 at 1:25 PM

Have I missed why bho and family are going on taxpayers dime if this isn’t official after he cancels his speech? Do taxpayers have to pay for them to just get out of the U.S.?
I imagine someplace, along with bho, soros, trumpka, and others will be there to give away more money(we borror) to brazil so they can drill in the gulf but not us!
L

letget on March 18, 2011 at 1:27 PM

Emperor of the World cancels appearance in Rio by the sea-o.

Hening on March 18, 2011 at 1:27 PM

Waldo gets even more ‘where-ier’.

trigon on March 18, 2011 at 1:27 PM

Can’t they just do like a Batman signal and project his image on the clouds? Or maybe on the side of one of those big hills. Marine One could drop low-fat lollipops on the crowds.

Limerick on March 18, 2011 at 1:27 PM

Have I missed why bho and family are going on taxpayers dime if this isn’t official after he cancels his speech? Do taxpayers have to pay for them to just get out of the U.S.?
I imagine someplace, along with bho, soros, trumpka, and others will be there to give away more money(we borror) to brazil so they can drill in the gulf but not us!
L

letget on March 18, 2011 at 1:27 PM

they already bought the plane tickets n’ stuff, so it’s kinda a done deal…

ted c on March 18, 2011 at 1:28 PM

“So Obama has lost the community organizers in Brazil, eh?”

Brazilians are experts at looking behind the disguise…

Seven Percent Solution on March 18, 2011 at 1:29 PM

That’s too bad, he could have droned on and on, those folks are use to politicians running their mouths for hours on end.

Cindy Munford on March 18, 2011 at 1:30 PM

They only have a teleprompter that writes in Portugese…

albill on March 18, 2011 at 1:31 PM

The Middle East in turmoil.

Japan, one of our closest allies, on the ropes due to natural disasters.

Fiscal problems when SlowJoe takes a powder not helping on ‘negotiations’.

And Odipstick?

Time for another nice vacation, about once per every 6 weeks, some golf, some nice meals at high class affairs and maybe a bit of speechifying. And if you cut out the speechifying that leaves more time for the other stuff!

Our modern day Nero will be back. With a kazoo as befits the stature of the man.

ajacksonian on March 18, 2011 at 1:32 PM

The speech has been moved indoors to a much smaller venue, the Municipal Theatre.

It’s probably easier to get that reverb thing going indoors. He can’t make a speech without trying to sound like some sort of messiah.

Who cares where he is? He’s utterly useless. The cost of his worldwide adventures and the carbon footprint are more annoying than his absence. Heck, BO doesn’t know it, but he’s been absent his entire life.

Cody1991 on March 18, 2011 at 1:32 PM

Municipal Theater? Come On. Isn’t this the moment Rio has been waiting for?

antisocial on March 18, 2011 at 1:33 PM

No Reagan is he, to tell of torn down walls. What words could he say in a venue so large?

unclesmrgol on March 18, 2011 at 1:34 PM

He’s squeezing in some extra time with Hugo and Sean Penn…

PatriotRider on March 18, 2011 at 1:34 PM

PBHO gives a hoot what the Brazilians think but not his own fellow Americans? Great.

Bishop on March 18, 2011 at 1:36 PM

My son’s worked for over a year on the upcoming animated flic “Rio”, which will open in about three weeks. I hope Teh One doesn’t f@#k this up for them!

bofh on March 18, 2011 at 1:37 PM

It’s quite simple, really. Rio refused Barry’s demand that Christ the Redeemer be taken down for his speech.

Christien on March 18, 2011 at 1:38 PM

Perhaps he realized that the big statue of that other Jesus would be looking down on him, and that just won’t do. Jesus al Chicago doesn’t look up to anyone.

slickwillie2001 on March 18, 2011 at 1:39 PM

He’s squeezing in some extra time with Hugo and Sean Penn…

PatriotRider on March 18, 2011 at 1:34 PM

LOL…don’t forget “Reverend” Wright and Richard Trumka!

Dr. ZhivBlago on March 18, 2011 at 1:39 PM

When they canceled his chariot ride to Cinelandia, he said “I knew I should have gone to see Chavez”

MJZZZ on March 18, 2011 at 1:41 PM

Canceled the Rio speech?

Musta just found out that his speech, eloquent in its Spanish, could not be re-translated into “Brazilian” in time for the scheduled event?

coldwarrior on March 18, 2011 at 1:42 PM

It will be fun seeing him at Corcovado sharing the stage with the other guy.

I can’t stand him. He is a malignant narcissist.

Marcus on March 18, 2011 at 1:43 PM

That Brazilian sun gives him too much reflection from TOTUS and he can’t read it.

ultracon on March 18, 2011 at 1:44 PM

My take is the same as PatriotRider:

Teleprompter Malfunctions. President Left Speechless.
News at ten.

viking01 on March 18, 2011 at 1:49 PM

Obama Speech canceled because the styrofoam greek columns were already rented out to a Fraternity for a Toga Party.

portlandon on March 18, 2011 at 1:50 PM

My friends who live in Rio have to drive around armored cars. They are instructed to never ever ever stop their cars and get out if “something happens” on the street. Just keep driving, get home, and then contact authorities.

I can’t believe the US President could safely have a public event on an open square there.

MayBee on March 18, 2011 at 1:53 PM

Awwwwwww

cmsinaz on March 18, 2011 at 2:01 PM

Sob! Where’s all the LOVE gone?

GarandFan on March 18, 2011 at 2:03 PM

He couldn’t find a spot out from under the shadow of the big Jesus?

cjtony97 on March 18, 2011 at 2:08 PM

With the presidential limos and other gear, there simply wasn’t room in the cargo plane for the styrofoam Greek columns.

CurtZHP on March 18, 2011 at 2:12 PM

I wish he would do a Mark Sanford and find a Latin lover, male, female or otherwise – I don’t care….. as long as he would feel compelled to resign.

~~~~Hope springs eternal~~~~

Cody1991 on March 18, 2011 at 2:12 PM

Just a reminder. In April or May he’s going to Ireland so he can research his Irish ancestry (You know, his “white” half). But don’t forget, he’ll throw in a little speech so he can chalk it off as a foreign business trip at our expense.

quint906 on March 18, 2011 at 2:19 PM

Maybe he’s not going because we know about and are talking about Brazils’ good fortune in the gulf.

unlisted on March 18, 2011 at 2:22 PM

As for Libya, I think he/us should stay out of it anyway, so that’s not a problem for me…though it would be nice if he would tell us why he’s not saying much about it.

Dr. ZhivBlago on March 18, 2011 at 1:07 PM

If Obama had acted last week, when Kadhafi only had Tripoli, it would have been far easier to smoke him out of one city than now, when the rebels are holed up in one city, and any foreign intervention needs to take back the whole country. By dithering, Obama actuall INCREASED the bloodshed in Libya.

Steve Z on March 18, 2011 at 2:27 PM

So, Odumbo is probably going to wait until vacation is over before attacking Libya.
Wouldn’t want to upset Big Moochelle or anything.

justltl on March 18, 2011 at 2:28 PM

Somebody pulled Professor O’Barry aside and said “are you trying to make a GOP campaign commercial?”

NickDeringer on March 18, 2011 at 2:29 PM

After a 6 month tour of chasing baddies in El Sal in 1983 I got 2 weeks leave in Rio. I stayed at the Sheraton on the beach in Copa.

It was..how you saaaay….insane. Even with the bar fines I was able to party like Charie Sheen on my non-comm pay. I took pictures of the debauchery that would just make you shake your head and smile if you’re a guy and blush and swear you’ll never let your son join the Marines if you’re a girl.

I hope Barry is stuck in boring conference rooms his whole stay.

Alden Pyle on March 18, 2011 at 2:29 PM

Some social and union groups have declared Obama a “persona non grata” and called for a protest, accusing him of a “bellicose policy of occupation” in foreign countries, and of attacking people “in the name of the war on terror.

So all the leftists who elected Lula can’t stand lefty Obama? Time to Rent-A-Mob from Mad-ville Wisconsin!

Steve Z on March 18, 2011 at 2:31 PM

I am trying to figure out why Obama had to go to Brazil in the first place. He can do a Conga line at the WH

Unless there was a serious strategic reason to give a speech in LuLu Land. it isn’t a good time to yuk it up with the locals and take in the sights. Not while US mil and rescue teams are taking risk in Japan and we face a nuclear fallout

If Fukushima hadn’t happened, someone might notice the battle to continue funding the government. Since we are now printing dollars to buy our own Treasuries, it might not be the time to sail the party boat to Rio.

If there wasn’t a funding battle in Congress, the reality of the MidEast going up in smoke and cutting off the oil line should have been a signal

Looked like they were going to stage photo ops of the wife and kids enjoying a carefree tax paid moment. That would have played good on Japan tv. Or Hillary’s favorite news outlet: al-Gee-zeera

entagor on March 18, 2011 at 2:44 PM

Man, with all this important stuff happening, the MSM would be going ballistic if Obama was in some far off place like Crawford, Texas.

justltl on March 18, 2011 at 3:04 PM

Dang. He was prepping for an appearance right next to Jesus but I guess that ain’t happnin. This ain’t no 2008.

May his days in office be few; may another take his place. He is unworthy of the office that he holds.

Key West Reader on March 18, 2011 at 3:05 PM

To be fair to the guy though- No matter where he is in the world, I’m sure that, with all the technology at his disposal, Obama is staying completely in touch with the NCAA playoffs.

justltl on March 18, 2011 at 3:10 PM

The optics of a major protest at a massive outdoor rally doesn’t appear to have appealed to Obama regardless of what the protest message turned out to be.

I’m going with this option. He doesn’t appear in any venue in the US unless its a closed union crowd with matching signs and catch-phrase shirts.

faraway on March 18, 2011 at 3:15 PM

EgObama?

irishspy on March 18, 2011 at 1:17 PM

I like.

faraway on March 18, 2011 at 3:16 PM

So Brazil which is bellicosely occupying numerous indignenous indian reservations, is upset that the US is trying to bring freedom to people in the Mideast?

eaglewingz08 on March 18, 2011 at 3:30 PM

“I’m going to promote exports so I can have you fools pay for our extravagant trip”.

Too bad the carnival is over.

The clowns arrive late.

Schadenfreude on March 18, 2011 at 3:31 PM

Will Michelle still be available for photo-ops dressed in native, Carnival costume?

a capella on March 18, 2011 at 1:07 PM

Since 90% of her wardrobe already looks like a carnival costume, she won’t even have to buy anything new — although with the U.S. taxpayer picking up the tab for all the Obama family’s exotic foreign vacations, she probably has lots of bucks to spare for unnecessary shopping (unlike the rest of us).

AZCoyote on March 18, 2011 at 3:33 PM

This

He and Chelley Antoinette will go see the big Jesus. It’s good to remind the U.S. gun-toting, bible-clinging racists that he is a Christian.

Michelle reminded him do drive their number down. They’re too dangerous to her losing her fat life-style.

Schadenfreude on March 18, 2011 at 3:36 PM

With Brazil abstaining on Libya, along with: Russia, China, Germany and India, he will not be that welcome, except by the idiot masses.

Schadenfreude on March 18, 2011 at 3:40 PM

When my baby
Oh, when my baby smiles at me
I go to Rio
De Janeiro

tsj017 on March 18, 2011 at 3:41 PM

They wouldn’t take down that big Jesus statue that was upstaging him.

Akzed on March 18, 2011 at 4:16 PM

And, there came a time in the History of the World.

When a man came, and stomped his foot and declared, “We are the Change that We Have Been Seeking”.

And thus, began the downfall of the United States of America.

Once known as a bastion of freedom, a help in times of trouble, a beacon of hope to the masses that yearned to be free.

A land that was once Free of tyranny. Where every man could seek success; where every man could seek to live the American Dream. Where every man had hope in the knowledge that no matter where he came from, he could be whomever he wished to be. And, succeed.

There came a day when a man emerged inside America, who declared himself the vision of Hope. And. Change.

And America fell to her knees.

/We will finish this story in 2012, and the Finisher is Herman Cain. With Sarah Palin at his side.

Key West Reader on March 18, 2011 at 4:17 PM

Michelle reminded him do drive their number down. They’re too dangerous to her losing her fat life-style.

Schadenfreude on March 18, 2011 at 3:36 PM

I don’t know about you, but if I saw that woman walking down the street of life in those dreadful threads, I’d just have to huff out my mouth with my nose in the air and go… Huh. That ain’t all that.

Key West Reader on March 18, 2011 at 4:19 PM

It’s quite simple, really. Rio refused Barry’s demand that Christ the Redeemer be taken down for his speech.
Christien on March 18, 2011 at 1:38 PM

I came up with that before I saw yours so I’m as smart as you.

Akzed on March 18, 2011 at 4:21 PM

Akzed on March 18, 2011 at 4:21 PM

My condolences. ;p

Christien on March 18, 2011 at 4:27 PM

And he has no interest in the topless beaches.

Maybe Michelle wants him to get a Brazilian?

profitsbeard on March 18, 2011 at 5:30 PM

Some in the US have wondered whether Obama is more interested in self-aggrandizing grand receptions by an adoring public abroad than in dealing with specific problems at home, where Obamamania has long ago worn thin.

Where as some of us aren’t the least bit surprised.

conservativecaveman on March 18, 2011 at 5:42 PM

It makes no difference. Watch closely people. Barry will still be doing something self-aggrandizing and over the top, and we’ll complain, and the press will make some comment like “can’t they ever leave him alone?”

itsspideyman on March 18, 2011 at 6:22 PM

Yes we can was a noble and powerful mantra which secured for Barack Obama the leadership of the free world. Those than can, do. It is time he started doing.

right2bright on March 18, 2011 at 6:34 PM

Let’s all go to the White House website and encourage teh won to appear in public, eh Gringo?

connectthedots on March 18, 2011 at 7:52 PM

Apparently a firebomb was lobbed at the consulate along with the usual protests.

OMG, does that mean people hate us even when BushHitler is not in charge??

http://www.verumserum.com/?p=22726

PattyJ on March 18, 2011 at 10:38 PM

It’s fun to speculate otherwise, but the real reason has to be security. I hate the guy as much as the next person, but we don’t need to have a president whacked overseas, only to become an instant martyr for the marxist cause. Better to subject him to the humiliation of being voted out of office.

n0doz on March 18, 2011 at 11:03 PM

New Brazilian comic strip:

Barry, The Boy From Ipanema

PC14 on March 19, 2011 at 12:43 PM