Barack Obama managed to come home from Copenhagen empty-handed twice in his first year of on-the-job executive training, and that’s bad enough for one’s credibility. However, the Washington Times reports that the second trip was even more embarrassing, as Obama had to walk into a meeting uninvited in order to get other world leaders to spend any time at all with him:
Barack Obama is not used to being the guy not invited to a party. At the Copenhagen global warming conference, however, he found that not everyone wanted to hang with him. Our president can’t take a hint.
After Mr. Obama’s bilateral meeting with Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao, the Chinese began sending lower-level functionaries to the multilateral meetings. A frustrated Mr. Obama pressed for another bilateral meeting, which was scheduled for Friday at 6:15 p.m. Other leaders of the countries known as the “BASIC” bloc were harder to pin down.
The Obama team tried to schedule a meeting with Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and was told he was at the airport readying to leave. Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva also was unavailable. South African President Jacob Zuma said there was no point meeting without India and Brazil. Then the Chinese pushed the bilateral meeting back to 7 p.m.
“We were told they were at the airport,” a senior administration official said. “We were told delegations were split up. We were told they weren’t going to meet.” So imagine Mr. Obama’s surprise when he arrived for the bilateral powwow and found all four leaders in the room already in deep discussion. “Are you ready for me?” he said with an “uncharacteristic edge” to his voice, according to a CBS News report.
Later, the White House denied that they had “crashed” the meeting, but the other leaders certainly went way out of their way to avoid the US President, including lying about their whereabouts. Recall when Obama promised to use “smart power” to improve America’s standing in the world? Who was the last American President that found himself the victim of an international game of “Ditch ‘Em”?
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