Obama's Disastrous G-20 Trip

Posted: Nov 15, 2010 8:37 AM
The reviews are in from across the spectrum.  The president's trip to Seoul was a bust. 

The Wall Street Journal: "A failure."

Has there ever been a major economic summit where a U.S. President and his Treasury Secretary were as thoroughly rebuffed as they were at this week's G-20 meeting in Seoul? We can't think of one. President Obama failed to achieve any of his main goals while getting pounded by other world leaders for failing U.S. policies and lagging growth.

The American failure was most acute on trade, as the U.S. and South Korea couldn't agree on a bilateral pact that the two countries had signed three years ago. Mr. Obama had campaigned against that pact in 2008, let it languish for two years in office, and now suddenly wants the South Koreans to agree to new terms...Mr. Obama's negotiators left Seoul empty-handed.

None of this should be cause for celebration, because a world without American leadership is a more dangerous place.

ABC News: A "strikeout."

CBS News: An "embarrassing disappointment."

The San Francisco Chronicle: Another "shellacking."

Shellacked at home, shellacked abroad. President Obama's Asia trip is extending a losing streak with the latest setback - a refusal by other major financial powers to follow his lead to revive the global economy.

The president's nostrums, which began with a call for stimulus-style pump priming by other nations, had evolved into a plan to ease wild swings in currency values and overboard trade imbalances. But he got next to nothing in showdown meetings with other leaders of the G-20 nations, or major economic powers. U.S leadership, once taken for granted, has all but vanished, and no one's in charge.

But Obama got nowhere with this defense, and amid the furor China got a pass on its own heavy-handed currency manipulation. The White House is clearly no longer the big dog on the financial scene. On his return to Washington this weekend, he must find better ways to restore his lost leadership. 

It's almost as if this president with no governing or executive experience doesn't know what he's doing.

UPDATE (via Hot Air) - The White House Propaganda Ministry has its own take on the trip. 

So with the President apparently frustrated, and the word "failure" appearing in a steady stream of stories, the White House shifted into damage control mode, sending new National Security Advisor Tom Donilon to give a briefing to the White House press corps.

Here's how he summed up the trip:

"From the first day in Mumbai to today in Japan, I think that the United States has dramatically advanced its critical goals and its strategic interest in the region."