President Obama Wisely Decides to Cancel Field Trip to Mayan Ruins

By
Photo: Jim Watson/AFP/Getty Images

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.

Libya concerns prompt Obama to trim stop in El Salvador [WP]