Free Markets, Free People
And yes, I’m being very facetious when use that title.
Again, the Obama administration has managed to PO our allies. This time, the entire EU:
President Obama’s decision to skip a United States-European Union summit meeting scheduled for Madrid in May has predictably upset European officials, who suggested on Tuesday that the summit itself will now be postponed, possibly to the autumn.
In addition to the palpable sense of insult among European officials, there was a growing concern that Europe is being taken for granted and losing importance in American eyes compared to the rise of a newly truculent China.
Jetting off to Europe to watch the UN’s global warming initiative fail is ok. And so is making an unscheduled trip to pitch the Olympics for Chicago.
But a US-EU summit? Phaa … it wasn’t even important enough to put on the schedule:
The White House explained the decision as a matter of scheduling, insisting that the May visit to Europe was never on the president’s agenda, so it could not be said to have been canceled.
Well there you go.
Speaking for Mr. Obama, Mr. Gordon told journalists in Washington on Monday that the trip to Spain “was never on his agenda.” The president had “traveled more to Europe in his first year probably than any president has ever done in the past, and he looks forward to continuing his engagement bilaterally with European allies and directly with the European Union.”
But that doesn’t include the US-EU Summit, which for some reason, the Europeans see as a very important.
The Spanish prime minister, José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero, who is scheduled to arrive in Washington this week on a visit, was described as angry and embarrassed, and European officials said there was a set of high-level diplomatic exchanges overnight.
And, of course, with a PO’d Spanish PM, one of the goals of the administration is surely to be helped along:
But a senior American official said that Mr. Gordon and Mr. Burns emphasized to Spanish officials, when the summit was raised, that they “were not in a position to commit to one.” In fact, the official said, the Obama Administration has been “pursuing and getting a better relationship with Spain and the new E.U.,” with Mr. Zapatero visiting Washington twice.
Ummm … sure seems like it, doesn’t it?