When liberals across the nation criticize President Obama you understand how big this faux pas really was. MSNBC's Andrea Mitchell, who can usually be found wearing an Obama cheer leading outfit, questioned why the President didn't go or at least send someone from the White House. She said the President's decision not to go was "stunning" and "ham-handed." (I had to look that one up. It means a lack of grace.)
CNN's Jake Tapper said “I don’t mean this as a criticism of the Obama administration, but just as an American I do wish that we were better represented in this beautiful procession of world leaders. I’m a little disappointed, personally — this is me speaking personally, not as a representative of CNN, but as an American — that there isn't more of a display of unity here.”
Blooomberg View columnist Josh Rogin said attendees he spoke with 'didn't seem upset at the lack of officials present, saying that the Obama White House "simply isn’t skilled, or doesn’t care, about doing the small things that can make a big difference when it comes to maintaining relationships and showing respect."'
Rogin also said "the White House often misses opportunities and lets poor optics overshadow positive contributions."
Even uber-liberal Rosie O'Donnell weighed in on "The View" yesterday. "Couldn't Joe Biden have been there and wasn't Eric Holder in Paris?" O'Donnell asked. She went on to describe the event as "We are the world - and we didn't show up."
But this isn't the first time President Obama has made decisions that make one wonder what's going on. Remember when Margaret Thatcher died? Margaret Thatcher was one of the best friends this nation ever had. She and Ronald Reagan were great comrades as well as friends and her funeral should have been an important date on Obama's calendar. No one from the White House attended. To be fair - no former President went either, which was also a disappointment to many Americans. But the sitting President should have gone. Tony Blair attended Ronald Reagan's funeral.
Remember the Benghazi attack? Remember where Obama was during that long night? Yeah, neither does anyone else. He won't say where he was or what he did but it is assumed he spent the night sleeping. Four Americans died in an hours-long gun battle with terrorists and President Obama got up the next morning and flew to Las Vegas for a fund raiser.
And how about when he released five top Taliban commanders from Guantanamo Bay for the release of one American deserter? Somehow he thought he was doing a good thing; that the American people would be pleased and proud of him for getting that soldier back. He was genuinely surprised when he learned that the American people were angry and felt betrayed by his actions.
He promised the five Taliban commanders would not return to the battlefield. So far all but one has done just that, with three of them now working with ISIS.
Remember when James Foley was beheaded by ISIS and the video was circulated around the world? Remember when President Obama made a couple of remarks about it and went straight to the golf course? Some will argue that he was on vacation and that his playing golf was OK. But it was in poor taste given the circumstances. Even he had to admit it when pressed by Chuck Todd.
"I should have appreciated the optics," the President said. “Optics … it matters. And I’m mindful of that,” he said. But apparently the optics of his Sunday no-show didn't occur to him.
Proper "optics" should have put President Obama in the front line with the 40 plus world leaders on Sunday. He had a chance, a big chance, to stand alongside other world leaders and make an international statement against Islamic terrorism and violent extremism in general. He blew it. Big time.
But it fits his pattern of making poor choices, wondering why he's being criticized for them, then having to make attempts at explaining his poor choices that the American people will understand. He usually fails at that as well.
President Obama didn't send anyone to Paris. He didn't send anyone to Maggie Thatcher's funeral. He failed completely on the Benghazi issue and he released very important Islamic terrorists back to the battlefield. But hey - he did send three White House representatives to the funeral of Michael Brown. That's something, isn't it?