Politics is largely about priorities; so is life, for that matter. Barack Obama’s priorities were put into sharp relief today when he canceled visits to two American military bases in Germany. He still has time, of course, to play the “rock star” in front of cheering multitudes of Germans. Ed Morrissey broke the story:
Der Spiegel’s blog reports on Obama’s priorities:
1:42 p.m.: SPIEGEL ONLINE has learned that Obama has cancelled a planned short visit to the Rammstein and Landstuhl US military bases in the southwest German state of Rhineland-Palatinate. The visits were planned for Friday. “Barack Obama will not be coming to us,” a spokesperson for the US military hospital in Landstuhl announced. “I don’t know why.” Shortly before the same spokeswoman had announced a planned visit by Obama.
The message here is that thousands of screaming German fans at the Tiergarten take precedence over visiting Americans serving their country at Rammstein and Landstuhl. Maybe one of the networks following Obama could interview a few of the soldiers about how they perceive that set of priorities from Obama.
Landstuhl, of course, is where soldiers wounded in Iraq and Afghanistan are sent for treatment. Obama’s visit there no doubt would have included meeting some of them.
It turns out that Obama didn’t stiff the servicemen because of a schedule conflict. Rather, as Jake Tapper pointed out, apparently without knowing that Obama had canceled planned visits to the two military installations, Obama is going sightseeing in Berlin tonight. I can’t say it any better than Ed did:
Obama canceled a previously-planned stop to visit thousands of American service personnel, including troops wounded in Iraq and Afghanistan being treated at Landstuhl, so he could hold a political rally for Germans and go shopping in Berlin. Now that’s a nice set of priorities for a man who wants to become Commander in Chief.
UPDATE: A reader adds:
I think there are other considerations that went into his calculation, er, decision. For instance, the possibly uncomfortable question of the very existence of the bases in Germany almost sixty-five years after the end of WWII and twenty years after the fall of the Berlin Wall. Does that raise doubts about how long The-One-We-Have-Been-Waiting-For might keep “residual forces” in Iraq? on “bases”?….does moveon.org know about this?
Or perhaps meeting wounded soldiers from Iraq would require The One, etc. to explain how proud he is of them for suffering for a “mistake” based on “lies”….
Those explanations are more likely than the one offered by the Obama campaign:
“The senator decided out of respect for these servicemen and women that it would be inappropriate to make a stop to visit troops at a U.S. military facility as part of a trip funded by the campaign,” explains spokesman Robert Gibbs.
No doubt that will provoke some hollow laughter at Landstuhl.
To comment on this post, go here.