January 12, 2015 11:00 am -

At least one of them should have shown up for the Paris rally. John Kerry is even going to be in Paris this week. Eric Holder was actually in Paris. Even though it’s symbolic, having an American leader in that chain of hands among the million-strong wold have sent an important message to the world.


White House officials declined to comment on whether President Obama or Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. had considered participating in the march in Paris on Sunday honoring the victims of the deadly attacks in France.

Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. and a top Homeland Security official were in Paris on Sunday to meet with their counterparts, but did not take part in the march. The American ambassador to France, Jane Hartley, did attend, a spokesman for the embassy in Paris said.

No comment? No explanation? We should have one.

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D.B. Hirsch
D.B. Hirsch is a political activist, news junkie, and retired ad copy writer and spin doctor. He lives in Brooklyn, New York.

61 responses to Where In The World Was Obama, Biden, Kerry?

  1. mea_mark January 12th, 2015 at 11:13 am

    If we had sent a top official we would of been accused of grandstanding. This really isn’t a big deal for America, this is more a European event. We support them and that is what counts.

    • fahvel January 12th, 2015 at 12:32 pm

      No no, it’s an american event since the greater majority of events like this are the outgrowth of the cheney/bush cabal

      • mea_mark January 12th, 2015 at 12:47 pm

        I was referring to the unity rally. If you think we should thank Cheney and Bush for that, then …

        • Bunya January 12th, 2015 at 1:59 pm

          France would have no reason for a unity rally if it weren’t for Dubya and the Dickster’s policies. So yeah, Cheney deserves the credit (or blame) for the rally.

          • mea_mark January 12th, 2015 at 5:24 pm

            I guess we should’ve sent Cheney then. With any luck maybe he wouldn’t of come back.

  2. fancypants January 12th, 2015 at 11:17 am

    its been reported pres. Obama was in the whitehouse and vp biden was in Delaware
    it doesn’t explain one way or the other why neither was there but no info saying either Obama and biden were invited or declined a possible invite ?

  3. Nicholas Russell Harris January 12th, 2015 at 11:21 am

    I know security wise that a sudden trip or unexpected journey somewhere is a freaking nightmare for the Secret Service. In addition it would have been a b!tch to organize. . .so I am a little more lenient I guess.

    He should have at least made a public speech here though.

    • whatthe46 January 12th, 2015 at 2:46 pm

      but he did say something when it happened. how many times must he speak?

      • Nicholas Russell Harris January 12th, 2015 at 3:06 pm

        I know he did. I was speaking more on the scale of a fireside chat, assuring Americans and indeed the world that while this was indeed tragic that we need to stand strong in the face of terror and carry on. . .or something of that sort! I admit I am no great writer.

        And how is it that you regularly oppose me on almost anything I say here? It is beginning to get on my nerves fankly. . .

  4. Maxx44 January 12th, 2015 at 11:27 am

    If for no other reason than to give the right wing propaganda machine one less reason to bash Obama, we should have sent a high-ranking official.

    • grammy97 January 12th, 2015 at 1:16 pm

      That’s what ambassadors are for.

  5. Khary A January 12th, 2015 at 12:08 pm

    Perhaps the President is looking at the whole world as opposed to one place. Hey did anyone else hear about the some 2000 people dead in Nigeria? I think a blurb about it was slipped in between Ellen this morning and a commercial for bunion pads. I can’t seem to find too much any where about it./s/

    Yeah we can all say that sympathy and support for people and their losses are something the world should come together for but if that’s the case then how should we delineate that sympathy? Do we just show such platitudes to our “allies” or do we bother to show these high minded concepts of civility to everyone?

    • fahvel January 12th, 2015 at 12:31 pm

      excellent KA. Somehow when the west receives a reactive strike to its serious use of others, it’s barbaric but what the west imposes or, as you suggest, ignores, is hi brow goodness. Sad

    • mea_mark January 12th, 2015 at 12:45 pm

      Really, Boko Haram is totally out of control. A very definite evil force that needs to be dealt with.

      • Khary A January 12th, 2015 at 1:06 pm

        And yet they seem to find little in the ways of concern to the “civilized” world. A wave of destructive force blighting a continent gains no purchase in the eyes and hearts of the world and hasn’t for some time but as soon as a media engine is attacked the world stops to take notice. This isn’t to say that the deaths of 17 people mean nothing but it does make me wonder how the world perceives itself and who and what it considers worthy of consideration.

  6. edmeyer_able January 12th, 2015 at 1:21 pm

    Should have sent gwb or dicky boy, I’m sure many people would have given them a warm welcome.

    • Larry StCroix January 12th, 2015 at 1:23 pm

      Now there’s a thought, Dickyboy would get a very warm welcome which is why he is not going to renew his passport when it expires.

  7. Larry StCroix January 12th, 2015 at 1:22 pm

    Where were they? Hopefully minding OUR business as they should be rather than faffing around at a PR photo op with a bunch of minor league hypocrites many of whom mouth platitudes while seriously persecuting both journalists and freedom of expression back home.

    Aren’t there any better headlines Alan? How about Congress voting to cut 20% from disability payments this week because a 60 year old diabetic woman with no fingers shouldn’t be lolling around living it up on her $830 a month? She should go out and get a job dammit or maybe she could live in her car to save the $500 in rent, oh wait, she doesn’t have a car?

    • whatthe46 January 12th, 2015 at 2:43 pm

      your first paragraph is exactly why i said “he’d be damned if he went and damned if he didn’t go” someone will always have something negative to say. no matter what.

  8. Red Eye Robot January 12th, 2015 at 2:06 pm

    It gets better!

    • tracey marie January 12th, 2015 at 2:18 pm

      more teabagger babble

      • Tammy Minton Haley January 12th, 2015 at 2:30 pm

        can you imagine the logistics in getting a potus to an event like that in 36 hours?

        • Nicholas Russell Harris January 12th, 2015 at 3:02 pm

          That was my point as well! It would be a nightmare for the Secret Service too!

        • tracey marie January 12th, 2015 at 3:10 pm

          It could not happen and keep him safe. This is just more of the same old babble and denigration

    • William January 12th, 2015 at 2:39 pm

      You right wing, Limbaugh licking, baggers need to make up your mind. FIRST you get all pissy because France wouldn’t get involved with Bush’s invasion of a sovereign country that had nothing to do with 911. (remember freedom fries *snicker* I’m sure France was devastated). Now you play all butthurt because POTUS didn’t go to France.

    • viva_democracy January 12th, 2015 at 3:00 pm

      So, do you stand with the terrorists who do not support freedom of the press or freedom of speech in the photo for the article?

      • mea_mark January 12th, 2015 at 5:29 pm

        Robots don’t stand for anything. They just do what their creators and masters program them to do.

    • rg9rts January 13th, 2015 at 8:06 am


  9. Tammy Minton Haley January 12th, 2015 at 2:28 pm

    so he could be slammed for going, i suppose…

    look, i just wish the WH would stop apologizing for the decisions it makes–makes it worse, makes me crazy

  10. Katherine Shanahan Carlson January 12th, 2015 at 2:48 pm

    no need – to stand with a bunch of hypocrites

  11. viva_democracy January 12th, 2015 at 2:51 pm

    Look at the hypocrites in the photo. Many of them beat and jail members of the press, including Netanyahu.

  12. viva_democracy January 12th, 2015 at 2:57 pm

    Here’s some French, ‘speech is only free when we like it’ for ya…

  13. Richard Bottoms January 12th, 2015 at 3:23 pm

    Maybe they were busy directing the troops who are actually killing these bastards instead of being all symbolic? I seem to recall Obama getting quite a lot of sh*t for doing just that for the last few months. NOW even the the French wants ISIS dead.

    • greenfloyd January 12th, 2015 at 9:26 pm

      I don’t agree, although you hit upon a couple of good points. As Commander in Chief of US armed forces, Obama sends men and women into harms way all the time. Essentially Obama was AWOL, he became the solider who refused to join the charge against a common enemy of peace and freedom.
      It’s all a major insult to the French people who more than wanting “ISIS” dead want peace and justice at home.

      • Richard Bottoms January 12th, 2015 at 10:36 pm

        Bullshit. We sent the French Ambassador. And not too long ago it was Freedom Fries and Freedom Toast, so cut the crap.

        • greenfloyd January 12th, 2015 at 11:03 pm

          They have always been French fries to me. You may soon forget this no-show incident. However, I doubt the French will. Nor will the extremists who seek to leverage anti-American sentiment.

          • Richard Bottoms January 13th, 2015 at 12:16 am

            Fortunately I don’t care what the French think.

            And the extremists apparently don’t really need an excuse for their barbarism.

          • greenfloyd January 13th, 2015 at 8:39 pm

            Why don’t you care what the French think? They are important allies and trusted friends, ever since the founding of America…
            We are fighting the same enemy and we face the same struggle to protect freedom.

  14. Bunya January 12th, 2015 at 4:46 pm

    Y’know, since this is the biggest blunder this president has made, I’m fine with it.

    • Suzanne McFly January 12th, 2015 at 4:47 pm

      It seems they forgot what the last POTUS did.

  15. OldLefty January 12th, 2015 at 5:16 pm

    This is a beltway insider issue about what was basically a photo-op.

    Frankly I think the heads of state detracted from the people, (who don’t get security), as evidence by the coverage.

  16. edmeyer_able January 12th, 2015 at 5:36 pm

    Mitt Romney wants everyone to know that if a war breaks out he’s totally fine going to France for the duration.

  17. OldLefty January 12th, 2015 at 9:45 pm

    Imagine if Obama or Biden or Kerry were in this photo??

    • greenfloyd January 12th, 2015 at 9:51 pm

      Given the distance and wide angle you’d be hard pressed to pick anyone out in that photo. But what’s the point? We know they were not there. That much, even the administration admits.

      • OldLefty January 13th, 2015 at 6:31 am

        My point is, it’s probably good that they were not there.

        I think the masses of people who were there, holding Je suis Charlie and We are not afraid, (without security), were more meaningful, and the “leaders” were a distraction.

        I know that on Friday and Saturday, my in-laws from India and Australia were saying that they hoped that THEIR leaders, and Obama would not be there.

        With the mockery those who were are getting now, looks like they were right;

        From the article;

        Paris march: TV wide shots reveal a different perspective on world leaders at largest demonstration in France’s history

        The measure was presumably taken for security reasons – but political commentators have suggested that it raises doubts as to whether the leaders were really part of the march at all.

        One reporter tweeted out;

        This is what pseudo-solidarity looks like. World leaders marching in #Paris not actually on protest but photo opp.


        Seems world leaders didn’t “lead” #CharlieHebdo marchers in Paris but
        conducted photo op on empty, guarded street

        • greenfloyd January 13th, 2015 at 7:56 pm

          At the moment France is on high alert, it’s obvious there are active cells of extremists determined to cause death and destruction. The security measures were not unwarranted. And, as I understand it there were thousands of French police and military on duty protecting the demonstrators, as well as foreign dignitaries. But plainly Obama had no excuse and admits it was a mistake not to attend.

          • OldLefty January 13th, 2015 at 9:00 pm

            I think it was not a mistake.

            He should not have gone.

            I think it is now viewed as a cheap publicity stunt that detracted from the actual people who had no security.

            That’s why the international reporters are saying things like;


            This is what
            pseudo-solidarity looks like. World leaders marching in #Paris not actually on
            protest but photo opp.

            The FT’s Middle East
            correspondent Borzou Daragahi commented: “Seems world leaders didn’t “lead”
            Charlie Hebdo marchers in Paris but conducted photo op on empty, guarded street.”

            Ian Bremmer, a US
            political scientist and founder of the Eurasia Group, said: “All those world
            leaders: Not exactly ‘at’ the Paris rallies.”

            And …

            To show their commitment
            to free speech MT @mattsteinglassThey should have banned press from showing the full photo

            If Obama or Biden had gone, (in spite of the almost impossible logistical problems) the media would be mocking them now.

          • greenfloyd January 13th, 2015 at 9:16 pm

            Obama has admitted it was a “mistake.” So, I am not sure what you are defending?

          • OldLefty January 13th, 2015 at 9:30 pm

            I think they are just saying that because the media is behaving with their usual herd like mentality, treating this trivial issue as if it IS the story.
            It is a beltway insider issue.
            The same as the tan suit and latte, and the flag pin (Obama started wearing a flag pin as well).

            And you know what?
            It’s not always about us.

          • Spirit of America January 13th, 2015 at 9:51 pm

            Then they would be lying if that is why they said it was a mistake, no?

          • OldLefty January 14th, 2015 at 6:35 am

            Yes, I think they were, as people who are exasperated but this silliness often do.

          • greenfloyd January 13th, 2015 at 9:53 pm

            It is A story, widely covered in the national and international press and media. Not just the “beltway.” Even though it’s time to move on, what’s done is done, this is about us, about our president who knows he dropped the ball at a crucial time. It was a “mistake,” and now we muddle on. 🙂

          • OldLefty January 14th, 2015 at 6:33 am

            Clearly we disagree.

            But I come from a place where my in-laws from India and Australia all said before that their leaders should not go, that it a cheap publicity stunt, (Reporters Without Borders called many of the world leaders who attended the rally ‘predators’ of a free press” while many put out headlines like “March of the Hypocrites”)

            Funny, my husband just said, “Thank God, he wasn’t there, if he or Biden had been there, Fox , followed by everyone else would have a field day, showing that photo endlessly, as, ‘Obama, on his $200 B photo op hiding from the people with his fellow leftist dictators”.

            I am more convinced than ever that he made the right choice.

          • greenfloyd January 14th, 2015 at 10:29 pm

            Perhaps I’m naive, but I can’t reduce Sunday’s massive demo and the attendance of dozens of official representatives from Europe and elsewhere to a “cheap publicity stunt.” The million+ people on the streets of Paris override any hidden agendas, of which, I saw none. Did you?

            Sunday was not about politics, although it seems Reporters Without Borders disagrees. They, RWB, may have solid cases against each and every one of those leaders they condemn as “predators” [of a free press], although it seems to me they chose the wrong time and place to try and make their case.

            I am more convinced than ever that he made the right choice.

            At this point the White House claims it was a “mistake.”

          • OldLefty January 15th, 2015 at 6:18 am

            “but I can’t reduce Sunday’s massive demo and the attendance of dozens of official representatives from Europe and elsewhere to a “cheap publicity stunt.”


            I agree. But that’s what it looks like, and the photo-op nature of the leader’s presence trivializes it and detracted from the millions who had the courage to stand there with “We are not afraid” signs and who did not have security.

            I think the “OMG!! Who was there and who wasn’t there” also trivialized the regular people’s march and took attention away from them.

            As for the White House “admitting” it was a mistake;

            Same thing when Obama started wearing the made in China flag pin, because the mass media kept mentioning it as though it was important.

            I see as more like this little personal story;
            My husband is a physician. His Dad was a diabetic.
            While his dad took his medication, he also ate bitter gourd

            He insisted that his diabetes was under control BECAUSE of the bitter gourd (not
            the medication), the rationale being…
            Diabetes is “sugar”, sugar is sweet, bitter counters sweet.
            After years of arguments, my husband became exasperated and ultimately just said, “OK, Dad. You’re right”
            Same thing.

          • greenfloyd January 15th, 2015 at 9:50 pm

            I looked up “bitter gourd,” momordica charantia has long been used in Asia and is known to lower blood glucose levels. So perhaps your father-inlaw, and your husband, were both right.

          • OldLefty January 16th, 2015 at 5:38 am

            Maybe. Husband says it’s hooey, though.

    • John_St_John January 12th, 2015 at 10:12 pm

      Would have been nice if they had let the protesters attend the world leaders perfectly led photo op. But the little people really don’t matter in the scheme of things.

      • Spirit of America January 12th, 2015 at 10:19 pm

        This was done for the folks to see just how unified the world at large is against such craven acts; that many, and all in that photo are(or several per) world leaders all in agreement & solidarity.
        That’s the ‘why’ for the photo.

        The ‘why’ for the grouping w/out the rest of the gatherers is purely a security issue; no way to ensure 1 person w/explosives wouldn’t get/be close enough to detonate & cause deaths amongst the leaders… france couldn’t guarantee the safety if let the crowd too close, esp w/thinking more of the cell may be around.

  18. Tim Coolio January 12th, 2015 at 9:56 pm

    Yeah I guess Joe should have been there but don’t worry France, we still support you!
    not only do I like French fries but I even use French dressing on the salad!

  19. rg9rts January 13th, 2015 at 8:07 am

    It was like a G 20 meeting and for the US it was embarrassing