Rich Galen

Most Presidents of the United States love going on an international trip. You get to fly on Air Force One. You get to travel around in The Beast that was flown over for your benefit. You get to stay in the biggest suite in a Western-style hotel. There are about 300 staffers from the White House and various Executive Branch agencies who have traveled ahead of you or with you to make sure your every whim is appropriately dealt with.

And, you get to meet with foreign leaders to remind them that, as Chevy Chase might have said on the old Saturday Night Live: "I'm the President of the United States … and you're not."

Essentially, the bubble in which Presidents live while they are in Washington, DC simply picks up and moves to where ever they need to/want to go.

Presidents generally get good marks when they're overseas. It's like that old saying that I can say whatever I want about my family, but if you say the same thing about my family you'll have a fight on your hands.

But, if the rule "Politics stops at the border" was ever true, it isn't any more. In 2009, CBS News reported that:

"Senate Democratic leader Harry Reid called President Bush "a loser" during a civics discussion with a group of teenagers at a high school [in Nevada].
"

Bush was in Europe at the time.

No one has called President Barack Obama a loser during his recently concluded trip to Europe but it would be hard to find a reason to celebrate any accomplishments.

The National Journal's Michael Hirsh - not exactly the go-to-guy of American Conservatives - wrote:

"There were the snarky words from Vladimir Putin, who expressed an almost Soviet-esque distance from Washington in his views about Syria. 'Of course our opinions do not coincide, the Russian leader said bluntly.

There was the coded warning from Chancellor Angela Merkel about spying on friends, and her and Obama's continuing frostiness over the issue of economic stimulus versus austerity.

"Above all, there was Obama's vague attempt at the Brandenburg Gate to capture some wisp of his past glory by pledging vague plans to cut nuclear arms and an even vaguer concept of 'peace with justice.'"

The EU countries' economies are foundering. According to Reuters "Joblessness in the 17-nation currency area rose to 12.2 percent in April." And among Europeans under 25, unemployment ranges as high as 50 percent in Greece and Spain and is well into double figures just about everywhere.

That was a bouquet compared to the review Obama got from a column in the U.K. Telegraph which described the President's Berlin speech thus:


Rich Galen

Rich Galen has been a press secretary to Dan Quayle and Newt Gingrich. Rich Galen currently works as a journalist and writes at Mullings.com.


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