An incumbent president may be a candidate for reelection, but he remains the president. The only thing which would have been purely political is if Obama had actually conducted the private meeting with Morsi while continuing to ignore Netanyahu. Rather than be presidential and meet with both leaders, Obama took the coward's way out, and will meet with neither. Obama's official mouthpiece
Well, no it isn't. Of the past four American presidents who attended the UNGA’s fall event while campaigning for re-election, only one held no bilateral meetings on the event sidelines. George H. W. Bush did not meet with foreign leaders during the UN fall event, largely because he was being criticized for his economic policies and decided that if he held meetings with foreign dignitaries at the UN, it would look as if he were more concerned with foreign policy than domestic policy. But it wasn't an act of avoidance of foreign policy.
George W. Bush met with the leaders of India, Japan, Pakistan, Afghanistan and Iraq at the 2004 UNGA event. In 1996, Bill Clinton met with the Japanese prime minister, and even signed the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty. In 1984, President Reagan met with the prime minister of Argentina, the exiled king of Cambodia, and held a confab with Soviet foreign minister Andrei Gromyko – Reagan’s first meeting since taking office with a leader of the country he had just recently called the “evil empire.”
All of the presidents, including Obama, did (or will) meet with the UN Secretary-General, including Bush I. For Obama's predecessors, the meeting was pro forma, since the UN is the S-G's “home.” They would be rude guests if they did not at least press the flesh with the titular head of the UN. Obama will do so for that reason, plus his own personal belief that one-world leaders are worth more time than quarrelsome, self-interested heads of individual nations. Like Secretary-General Ban Ki Moon, Obama is largely a worthless figurehead who believes that speeches are more important than actions. Kindred spirits.
Maybe it's just all a matter of Obama wanting to be present at the UN to hear the speech by Iranian thug Mahmoud Ahmedinejad, on Yom Kippur of all days. Obama has responded to questions about Israel and Iran by calling it "noise" to which he doesn't pay much attention. Well, let's move on.
Whoopi Goldberg will abandon her discussions of rape-rape, and lob softballs at Michelle. Barbara Walters might even conclude with “be good to us, Mr. President.” Since there will be no actual reporters present to ask hard questions, Obama might use this face time to 'fess up that he knows that the vast majority of the current violence in the Middle East was orchestrated in advance and had little or nothing to do with the obscure amateur videotape which "defamed Mohammed." This will be Obama's fifth appearance on The View, about equal to how often he has met with his own security council and economic advisers.
And finally, we have former Obama mouthpiece Robert Gibbs. Saving Carney's bacon as much as Obama's, Gibbs appeared on several TV shows on Sunday to reinforce the avoidance agenda. “They have telephones in the White House. Last week, he talked to the president of Egypt, he talked to the leader in Libya. We don’t need a meeting in Washington just to confer with leaders. This isn’t just about one meeting on one particular day in New York. The president is actively involved in engaging the most dangerous places in the world, every single day of the week.”
I'm glad to hear that Gibbs is aware of telephones. But his only experience with a president and meetings with foreign leaders is what he was fed for pre-staged press conferences. There is no substitute for face-to-face, eyeball-to-eyeball contact with the other guy in a private room, unattended by anybody but the two parties to the conversation. Winning poker players can tell you that watching every move and twitch of your opponent is as important as a good hand.
By the time you read this, the Obamas' View appearance will already have happened. Let me know what you think, including how close I got to what would happen at the meeting of the deficient minds.