FOREIGN AFFAIRS? WHO NEEDS 'EM? - AT 8:04 A.M. ET: Mr. Obama has already delayed his Asian trip by three days, meaning all the caterers in Indonesia and Australia have to buy fresh beans, and those little girls who greet foreign leaders at airports need new flower bouquets.
But the Dems want him to postpone again. This must look great to other countries. From the Washington Post:
Some Democrats in Congress are worrying that President Obama may be making a mistake by traveling overseas next week, just when his year-long push for a health-care overhaul could come up for a final vote in the Senate.
"The timing is ill-advised. We need all hands on deck," said Rep. Gerald E. Connolly (D-Va.). "If nothing else, the atmospherics it creates by being on the foreign trip when we're doing the heavy lifting on this is wrong. If I were asked, I'd tell him to postpone it."
Few lawmakers were willing to voice such criticism of their president, who will leave Sunday for a five-day excursion to Indonesia, Guam and Australia. The trip has already been delayed by three days so Obama could be in Washington for the House's vote, but the timing for that vote keeps getting pushed back.
I hope that surgery, under Obamacare, runs more smoothly.
As planning for the trip races ahead, one top Democratic aide on Capitol Hill said conversations between the White House and lawmakers about his departure have been tense.
"It's fair to say that when the White House staff broached this with House and Senate leadership staff, they heard very serious concerns about it," said the aide, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss private strategy talks. "They know damn well that we have concerns."
Those concerns grew more urgent Wednesday as Democrats continued to wait for the Congressional Budget Office to "score" the cost of the health-care legislation, raising fears that a vote may be delayed until Sunday.
What do you tell the prime minister of Australia? "Kevin? This is Barack. Say, Kevin, I've come down with that swine flu you sent us..."
This administration does not exactly present an image of precision and competence.
March 18, 2010