There's no doubt that throughout his five-day trip through Latin America, President Obama has stayed on top of developments in Libya, but he's also taken a lot of heat for focusing on less pressing priorities abroad while the American military carries out strikes of questionable necessity and effectiveness that he alone decided to launch. Like last week's ridiculous March Madness bracket "controversy," it's once again a matter of optics and perception. The juxtaposition of the president doing fun activities while Serious Things are happening can be kind of disturbing for voters, and embarrassing for Obama. At the bombing campaign's outset, Obama was photographed playing soccer with children and visiting that enormous Jesus statue on a mountain in Rio, which makes his trip appear more like an Obama family getaway than an important diplomatic mission. So as pressure mounts on Obama back home, from Congress and the media, it was a smart decision to cut his trip a few hours short and replace an excursion to some Mayan ruins in El Salvador this morning with a strategy session on Libya. The White House doesn't need any more photos of Obama sightseeing, and especially not while wearing tiny shorts and a fanny pack, which he definitely would have.
Most Viewed Stories
13 Movies to See (or Not) This Thanksgiving
Terry Richardson Shot Miley Cyrus for CANDY Magazine and It’s As NSFW As You’re Imagining
Who the Jessica Jones Characters Are in the Comics and How They Connect to the Marvel Universe
Eagles of Death Metal Give Heartbreaking First Interview After Paris Attacks
Ask Polly: I’m Sick of Being Unhappy and Alone!
’N Sync Members Bow to Adele’s 25 With the Quiet Grace of Men Who Know They Have Lost to Their Superior
Stop Reverting to Childhood on Your Holiday Visit Home
20 Marvel ‘Firsts’ in Jessica Jones
Is Donald Trump a Fascist?
Jennifer Lawrence Has Delightful Ways of Describing Chris Pratt
Latest News from Daily IntelligencerTuring Pharmaceuticals Was Actually Kidding About Reducing Price of Drug
Here's one thing your entire family can be outraged about this Thanksgiving.Obama Tells Americans to Chill Out and Enjoy Thanksgiving
Intelligence suggests that the only specific and credible threat facing the homeland is overeating.Walmart’s Black Friday Spies
Save money. Sneak better.Terrorism in the Age of Trump
What’s changed in the right-wing brain since 9/11.Military Releases 3,000-Page Explanation of Why Kunduz Hospital Was Bombed
It's just a case of operator error and instrument failure — not a war crime!De Blasio and Cuomo Are Super Thankful for Each Other This Year
The elected officials know that Thanksgiving is best celebrated by yelling about people you say you care about.Is Donald Trump a Fascist?
Is it fair to call Donald Trump a fascist just because he feels like one?Drunk Russian Sailor Crashes Massive Cargo Ship at Full Speed
The 7,000-ton ship was so badly damaged it had to be scrapped.Football Fan Gets Back at Cops Who Ejected Him From a Game by Sending Them Doughnuts
No one ever says that revenge tastes like coconut.Russia Readies Missile Systems in Syria But Does ‘Not Plan to Go to War With Turkey’
The tensions over the downed warplane continue.
Trump fans aren't content to just vote for him anymore. Now they have to be him.5 Amazing Stats From the Warriors’ Historic 16-0 Start
It's the best start in NBA history.Ted Cruz and James Woods Spend 40 Minutes Talking About How Much They Love This Country
A reconstruction of a historic meeting of the minds.Is Ted Cruz the Candidate Who Can Beat Donald Trump?
He’s polling second in Iowa, so it’s his turn to be the GOP’s primary darling.Newborn Found in Nativity Scene at Queens Church
The healthy baby boy was found in the appropriately named Holy Child Jesus Church in Richmond Hill.Protests Erupt in Chicago Over Video of Cop Fatally Shooting Black Teen
Officer Jason Van Dyke was charged with murder on Tuesday.City Hall Calls an Audible on Carriage Horses
Mayor de Blasio is apparently trying to find a middle ground that would reduce the number of carriages and make a few tweaks to the industry.Hillary Clinton Promises to Stop Saying ‘Illegal Immigrant’
"That was a poor choice of words."An Unconfirmed, Unlikely (But Yet-to-Be-Refuted) Conversation Between Bernie Sanders and Killer Mike
What were they talking about anyway?What You Missed in Sheldon Silver and Dean Skelos’s Corruption Trials
The jury begins deliberating Silver's fate.