By K.T. McFarland –
Why would President Obama part with a long standing tradition and refuse to meet with world leaders this week at the United Nations? It’s the single time and place every year where all the world’s leaders are in one place. It’s the one opportunity all year for face-to face-meetings, to iron out problems and to sound out solutions and to work, without the glare of formal state visits. So why is President Obama doing a hit and run at the UN? Too busy for meetings, but not too busy to go to fundraisers or to appear on New York-based daytime talk shows while he’s in the Big Apple?
None of the excuses make any sense — ‘he’s too busy campaigning,’ ‘he can talk to them on the phone anytime,’ ‘he can’t meet with everyone, so he’s meeting with no one.’
Everyone is missing the point. In an election year, if the president meets with world leaders, his opponent has the right to ask for meetings, too. And no world leader, who might be facing a President Romney in just a few weeks time, dares to refuse that request. They will all hedge their bets. After all, when the president travels abroad, he often meets with the opposition leader of a country, especially in the middle of an election season.” And President Bill Clinton, hardly one to promote a Republican candidate, gave equal time to both Romney and Obama speeches at the Clinton Global Initiative Conference this week.