I noticed recently that a number of Democratic supporters, as well as a number of mainstream reporters are, almost on cue from someone’s directive, eagerly boasting about President Obama’s foreign policy experience. And, of course, they are contrasting this so-called experience with a lack of such for Republican candidate Mitt Romney.
Personally, I find this attempt to boost Obama’s credentials to be somewhat misleading, as I can’t readily recall any major foreign policy successes, unless you count the killing of bin Laden. While this feat is to be commended, I don’t really consider this a foreign policy achievement, especially when you consider that our normal allies seem to have become very disenchanted with Obama’s policies and foreign policy direction. Israel and England being prime examples of this.
Now, a rather surprising article in today’s Washington Post asserts that Obama is skipping more than half of his daily intelligence meetings? And, yes, this is notable, since a number of loyal supporters and liberal commentators have been “discussing the importance of the intelligence meeting and extol how brilliantly the president runs it.” I find this likely to be more misinformation and propaganda than fact.
And, Marc Thiessen, writing for the Washington Post, asks a number of very pertinent questions regarding the President’s absence at these daily important meetings.
Specifically, he writes:
President Obama is touting his foreign policy experience on the campaign trail, but startling new statistics suggest that national security has not necessarily been the personal priority the president makes it out to be. It turns out that more than half the time, the commander in chief does not attend his daily intelligence meeting.
… The Government Accountability Institute, a new conservative investigative research organization, examined President Obama’s schedule from the day he took office until mid-June 2012, to see how often he attended his Presidential Daily Brief (PDB) — the meeting at which he is briefed on the most critical intelligence threats to the country. During his first 1,225 days in office, Obama attended his PDB just 536 times — or 43.8 percent of the time. During 2011 and the first half of 2012, his attendance became even less frequent — falling to just over 38 percent. By contrast, Obama’s predecessor, George W. Bush almost never missed his daily intelligence meeting.
… When Obama forgoes this daily intelligence meeting, he is consciously placing other priorities ahead of national security. As The Post story that the Obama White House sent me put it, “Process tells you something about an administration. How a president structures his regular morning meeting on intelligence and national security is one way to measure his personal approach to foreign policy.” (my emphasis)
You should read this entire story, and judge for yourself whether President Obama regards his daily national security intelligence meetings as more important than other tasks or other interests. You can read all of Marc Thiessen’s comments here.Print This Post Send To A Friend