01.15.2015 1

Paris, Obama and the White House

By Rick Manning

obama chairPresident Obama suffered through a disastrous week in the aftermath of his choice to watch the NFL playoffs rather than go to Paris to join other world leaders in solidarity against Islamic terrorism.

Everyone knows the story, which doesn’t need to be retold – after getting blistered on MSNBC, CNN and FoxNews, even the White House is admitting they made a mistake.

But it is this admission that is perhaps most troubling.

It is clear from White House spokesperson Josh Earnest that the decision of whether to attend the Paris rally captivated the world’s resolve against Sharia based terrorism was never elevated to the President.  It was treated as a staff scheduling decision, and apparently neither the President nor the Vice President had the situational awareness to demand that they be brought into the loop.

One would think that America could depend upon what should be the best and the brightest at the White House to communicate with French President Hollande, their counterparts and Number 10 Downing and the German Chancellor’s office and compare notes.

Just as one would think that in the wake of the Paris attacks, the U.S. government would be in constant communications with the French at the highest levels and the rally that attracted millions of people and 40 world leaders would have come up.

And it would have seemed logical that someone at the White House would have noticed that the news channel coverage was wall to wall with the Paris attacks and that a big rally was brewing.

Yet, in spite of the reported back channel communications between various world leaders, most significantly, between Hollande and Israel’s Benjamin Netanyahu, America, the erstwhile leader of the free world was caught napping.

We now know that both the President and Vice President had clear schedules over the weekend, yet no one who could get within shouting distance of either man thought the event important enough to warrant anything more than attendance by our nation’s ambassador to France.

The big reveal from this incident is that six years into his Administration, President Obama is still staffed by B Teamers who don’t have any sense of America’s role in the world.

Prior to the past presidential election during discussions of the Benghazi consulate attack and murders by Islamic extremists, America learned that the President regularly skipped his national security briefings.  After Paris, we have learned that his staff is so incompetent that they cannot be depended upon to knock on his door and bring the decision of whether to attend a seminal event in Europe that required quick action.

If Obama isn’t paying attention, and his staff is either too incompetent or frightened to bring important events to his attention, the only remaining question is, who is minding the store?

Could there be any scarier question to have to ask at a time of unprecedented volatility and challenges to American interests across the world?

 Rick Manning is the President of Americans for Limited Government.

Copyright © 2008-2021 Americans for Limited Government