NBC’s Chuck Todd: It’s odd that Obama won’t take any meetings with foreign leaders

posted at 1:21 pm on September 24, 2012 by Ed Morrissey

He’s right, and for a couple of reasons, not the least of which is the unrest in the Middle East.  One would think that an American head of state would take advantage of a UN meeting to grab some quality time with leaders in the region and try to hammer out some support.  Instead, Barack Obama will be on The View — and the RNC is making sure everyone knows it:

NBC’S CHUCK TODD: “Meanwhile, today the president comes to New York for the United Nations General Assembly where he delivers his speech tomorrow but won’t have a single one-on-one meeting with a world leader on his schedule. Not anybody. This is about a do-no-harm trip and his aides don’t want any unexpected news. Republicans are already making hay of the president making time to tape the View today. He will also deliver a speech at the Clinton Global Initiative. Obama campaign senior advisor Robert Gibbs was pushed about this schedule on Fox News.”

OBAMA CAMPAIGN ADVISOR ROBERT GIBBS: “We have schedules. Leaders have schedules. In many cases those schedules aren’t going to overlap.”

FOX NEWS’ CHRIS WALLACE: “But he has time for Whoopi Goldberg but he doesn’t have time for world leaders?”

GIBBS: “No, Chris look, the president is going to be actively involved at the U.N. General Assembly.”

TODD: “The White House also argues that Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice will hold meetings. But folks it is odd to have a president come to the United Nations and not have any bilaterals. Granted it is a campaign year, but still odd considering what’s going on in the Middle East.”

First, kudos to Chuck Todd, who did better than his own network and most of the others in pointing out the problems Obama has on foreign policy.  The Sunday talk shows all avoided the subject except for Fox, where Chris Wallace peppered Robert Gibbs on the issue.  Just three weeks ago, Obama and the Democrats wanted to make foreign policy a central theme in the election, and the media was happy to cover that strategy … as long as it played well for the White House.  Suddenly, we have a dead ambassador, a huge intel loss, and embassies on fire throughout the Muslim world, and all of a sudden the media wants to talk about the economy.

The decision to snub world leaders is even more curious, given the easy optics for Obama.  Incumbent presidents have a tremendous prestige advantage in re-election campaigns, which only get enhanced by public têtes-aux-têtes with other heads of state.  The fact that the White House is avoiding these opportunities tells you all you need to know about their confidence in foreign policy as a winning issue for Obama in this election now.

Update: I edited the headline after I saw some comments that thought “kind of” was a quote.  It’s not; that was just a little headline snark, but I took it out to avoid further confusion.

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OT, speaking of pretenders

Schadenfreude on September 24, 2012 at 2:18 PM

Often Presidential meetings with heads of state are the culmination of foreign policy work and achievements. This assumes, of course, one has a president that actually has a foreign policy and seeks to shape world events rather than begin shaped by them, i.e. leading from behind.

STL_Vet on September 24, 2012 at 2:18 PM

Chuck takes Obama’s dick out of his mouth just long enough to make a startlingly unbiased observation. Back to work now, Chuck.

Jaibones on September 24, 2012 at 2:19 PM

First Joe Kernan rubs Howard Dean’s nose in the mud, now Chuck Dodd getting cheeky with Gibbs. Just what the hell is going on at MSNBC, an epiphany?

timberline on September 24, 2012 at 2:19 PM

They don’t call him

Pres**ent Obama

for nothing

J_Crater on September 24, 2012 at 2:20 PM

SouthernGent on September 24, 2012 at 1:54 PM

No, because I never watch them, nor listen. 2 seconds and I’d hit the TV.

Schadenfreude on September 24, 2012 at 2:22 PM

The fact that the White House is avoiding these opportunities tells you all you need to know about their confidence in foreign policy as a winning issue for Obama in this election now.

Those morons were so confident that Bain Capital attacks were going to finish Romney, in fact that was their main and only strategy to win the elections… This will tell you how dumb and incompetent these morons are… After Bain Capital strategy utter failure they start using a strategy every week and all of them failed badly… Now they are left with the final desperate strategy of demoralizing the Republican/Conservative base by manufacturing biased polls insanely oversampling democrats or way undersampling independents in order to give Obama a lead, coupled with a lie each hour about the Romney campaign being in a chaos…

So based on the above I am laughing at their confidence that Obama is going to win the foreign policy debate after his Middle East strategy was destroyed in the events of the last two weeks…

mnjg on September 24, 2012 at 2:26 PM

He won’t show up for security meetings, why should he meet with people who’s security we depend on?

At least Whoopi and the girls will be on his side and supporting him…that must give comfort to everyone in America.

right2bright on September 24, 2012 at 2:28 PM

If Chuck Todd is saying it, you know that many others are thinking it.

monalisa on September 24, 2012 at 2:30 PM

Those morons were so confident that Bain Capital attacks were going to finish Romney, in fact that was their main and only strategy to win the elections…

mnjg on September 24, 2012 at 2:26 PM

Actually I think they were hoping, since that was all they had…not counting that cunning, brilliant, Joe Biden, their secret weapon…

right2bright on September 24, 2012 at 2:30 PM

workingclass artist on September 24, 2012 at 2:06 PM

Well it seems that dear hills needs to deal with her staff? Nasty little guy?

http://nation.foxnews.com/hillary-clinton/2012/09/24/hillary-aide-tells-reporter-fck
L

letget on September 24, 2012 at 2:11 PM

oh my

workingclass artist on September 24, 2012 at 2:33 PM

He is much too busy arranging for appearances with whoopi and the one-legged-pimp.

rjoco1 on September 24, 2012 at 2:35 PM

It,s not odd Chucky that the American media won,t ask at least one honest question of this Pres.It,s a down right shame.

logman1 on September 24, 2012 at 2:36 PM

Obama is not a leader. He is a campaigner. He’s much better suited to have Axelrod’s job than to sit in the oval office.

Scrappy on September 24, 2012 at 2:36 PM

I dunno…Achmedinnerjacket pays for sex change operations for the Homos so y’know his country stays Gay Free and pure.

Win Win

workingclass artist on September 24, 2012 at 2:04 PM

“Why do you need a crane to do a sex change operation?”

-Because…stretching your neck is the first step in the process. Now put your head through this wire noose.

Bishop on September 24, 2012 at 2:12 PM

True enough.

Gays in Iran that don’t take the cure are executed.

workingclass artist on September 24, 2012 at 2:37 PM

Chuck Todd will be given a final warning by NBC for daring to question dear leader.

That kind of behavior is not acceptable at NBC.

CorporatePiggy on September 24, 2012 at 2:45 PM

No, because I never watch them, nor listen. 2 seconds and I’d hit the TV.

Schadenfreude on September 24, 2012 at 2:22 PM

You’re way more patient than I am. 2 seconds?

riddick on September 24, 2012 at 2:47 PM

Hillary spokeshole tells a reporter to fck off? hmmm, I sense a dogpile about to occur

you’d think a reasonable commentatr at one of the five networks that allowed Susan Rice to lie to their viewers might want to get in on this

DanMan on September 24, 2012 at 2:54 PM

Suddenly, we have a dead ambassador, a huge intel loss, and embassies on fire throughout the Muslim world, and all of a sudden the media wants to talk about the economy.

Romney,” Okay, I’m game. Let’s talk about the economy….”

Tenwheeler on September 24, 2012 at 1:27 PM

Contribution noted Eeyore.

Basilsbest on September 24, 2012 at 1:35 PM

Awww. Was Tenwheeler insufficiently adulatory? Good thing you were on the job to demand proper conformity.

Obama is making a dog’s breakfast of foreign policy. That’s the focus. Although, frankly, at this point the economy and foreign policy are both pretty broad targets.

tom on September 24, 2012 at 2:55 PM

But don’t worry, Chuck Todd is one of those 47% who will vote for SCoAMF no matter how “odd” his actions are.

UltimateBob on September 24, 2012 at 1:41 PM

I’d be fine with him voting for Obama, or Ralph Nader, or whoever floats his boat, if he can do his job as a reporter and not try to use his position to help Obama out.

As it is, I guess we’ll just have to be glad he wasn’t a total weasel this time.

Ok, so I have low expectations for reporters…..

tom on September 24, 2012 at 3:02 PM

Why preface this story with “It’s odd.” It is not odd, it is downright malfeasance in office!!

rjoco1 on September 24, 2012 at 3:11 PM

grab some quality time with leaders in the region

Why? are they going to be voting next month? Besides, the Won knows all, smartest man in the room, blah, blah, blah

skanter on September 24, 2012 at 3:34 PM

Why is the race so close again??? Oh yeah Romney is leaving the low hanging fruit on the tree.

When will he release the kraken? WHEN!

Come on Mitt, this is easy to pick off, really. Shooting fish in a barrel.

neyney on September 24, 2012 at 4:03 PM

Chuck takes Obama’s dick out of his mouth just long enough to make a startlingly unbiased observation. Back to work now, Chuck.

Jaibones on September 24, 2012 at 2:19 PM

You owe me an iPad. Spewed my beer.

olddog58 on September 24, 2012 at 4:19 PM

This is either craven cowardice or the dipstick is so delusional that he still thinks the power of his personality and the aura of his presence will bring everyone together for a Kumbaya group grope.

single stack on September 24, 2012 at 4:47 PM

Kudos to Chuck Todd? How about no bleep, Sherlock? When did he jump on the reality bandwagon? He’s not practicing for a jump to FOX or anything is he?

stukinIL4now on September 24, 2012 at 5:58 PM

“It’s odd that Obama won’t take any meetings with foreign leaders’

None of them are able to speak at the levels Dear Leader inhabits.

Another Drew on September 24, 2012 at 6:06 PM

Foreign leaders would lay out the hard facts for Obama, and he can’t take that.

RebeccaH on September 25, 2012 at 9:35 AM

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