CNN says the president's scheduling priorities make him look "foolish," and amount to an "error in judgment:"
MSNBC's Morning Joe gang was equally unimpressed:
"This president will go to a country, go to a speech, and then leave. And I've heard from one diplomat after another, it's as if he thinks the speech itself is the ends -- not a means to the ends."
This is why the president feels comfortable characterizing the bloody tempest in the Middle East is a "bump in the road." He believes the crisis isn't anything that a soaring speech or two can't solve. Here is the New York Times story quoted in the clip:
The tensions between Mr. Obama and the Gulf states, both American and Arab diplomats say, derive from an Obama character trait: he has not built many personal relationships with foreign leaders. “He’s not good with personal relationships; that’s not what interests him,” said one United States diplomat. “But in the Middle East, those relationships are essential. The lack of them deprives D.C. of the ability to influence leadership decisions.”
In Obama's defense, basking in the adulation of adoring sycophants on daytime television definitely sounds a lot more fun than the hard work or diplomacy and statecraft. While some media members are increasingly holding the administration's feet to the fire on issues like the Benghazi massacre (more on that later), they're awfully quiet about Mitt Romney's charitable giving. After loudly demanding that he release more tax records for months, many media outlets are shrugging now that Romney has complied. Voters may have heard that Romney paid a 14 percent effective rate last year -- higher than the percentage most Americans pay -- but fewer people learned that Romney's disclosures explode Democrats' conspiracy theories, demonstrate lawful (and costly) tax compliance, and reveal the Republican's enormous personal generosity. I discussed this predictable media omission with Neil Cavuto:
Following Romney's release of two decades' worth of tax information, the Obama campaign ran yet another ad calling on him to "come clean" or something. It cited a twice-debunked analysis to falsely claim that Romney will raise taxes on the middle class, natch -- a move of which Obama is actually guilty. But remember, Chicago takes fact-checking veeeerrrrrrryyyyyyy seriously.
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