Obama And Kerry Criticized For Not Attending Paris Unity Rally
Both President Barack Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry did not attend the unity rally in Paris on Sunday, and neither even visited the French capital, and there absence did not escape comment.
Rick Ungar of Forbes magazine strongly condemned Obama’s decision not to go, writing, the “leader of the nation that considers itself to be the beacon of liberty and freedom was glaringly and depressingly absent among the leaders of other free—and not so free—societies.”
While Edward-Isaac Dovere noted in Politico that Obama said he wanted to “make sure to comment,” but never specifically condemned that attack.
“Obama wasn’t far from the march in D.C. on Sunday that wended silently along six blocks from the Newseum to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial. Instead, he spent the chilly afternoon a few blocks away at the White House, with no public schedule, no outings,” he writes.
Obama’s absence, however, was given a pass by the editorial board of the New York Times, which wrote about the rally without even mentioning Obama’s name.
Kerry defended their absence, saying criticism was nothing more than “quibbling,” that does not represent US support for France.
“The U.S. has been deeply engaged with the people of France since this incident occurred. This is sort of quibbling a little bit in the sense that our assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland was there and marched, our ambassador was there and marched, many people from the embassy were there and marched,” Kerry told reporters, adding that the United States has offered intelligence and law enforcement help.
The Washington Post reports that Kerry will stop in France on his return trip from India as a “gesture” of solidarity.