President Barack Obama has shown, over the past 2 and a half years, an amazing amount of contempt for Great Britain. From the earliest days in the White House, Obama sent the bust of Winston Churchill packing. He traded gifts with the Royal Family, giving them ipods of all things. Then, the lack of manners and customary protocol in the quasi-groping of the Queen by the First Lady. A possible simple mistake, but a lack of protocol and respect nonetheless. Fast forward a few years, and you have the worst toast in the history of the world, again showing his lack of manners and protocol - but now showing an odd willingness not to care about such things in regard to England.
Most recently, however, the insult to England has international implications. This weekend, as America celebrated Independence Day, a statue of President Ronald Reagan was unveiled in London. Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and others were on hand for the dedication. The bronze statue sits in the same park as a statue dedicated to the memory of Former President Dwight D. Eisenhower, which was dedicated in 1989 by the Iron Lady herself, Margaret Thatcher. The Reagan statue is part of the world-wide celebrations celebrating the centennial of Reagan's birth.
That night, a dinner was held in honor of Reagan. It capped a day of events that celebrated the life and extraordinary achievements of the 40th President of the United States. Yet, missing from the dinner - clearly the biggest event of the day - was United States Ambassador Louis Susman. While he did host a VIP breakfast that morning, Susman was absent from the grandest event, where speeches were given and the memory of Reagan was put forth - reminding everyone of his impact, and his legacy.
Once again, Obama and his cronies can't think their way out of a ripped-open paper bag. First, the appointment of Susman as Ambassador to England shows the level of disregard Obama has for these positions and engagements. While promising during the election to fill ambassadorships with top level people, Susman got the job (in very large part) to the fact that he was a long-time Democratic fundraiser, spending a decade on the DNC and working on both the Kerry campaign in 2004 and Obama's run in 2008. The Huffington Post was crowing about this back in 2008 (including a requisite dig at former President George Bush:
...the big-money types and "bundlers," the fundraisers who helped put together Obama's stunning financial advantage, are expecting their reward -- say a nice, cushy ambassadorship in Rome or Paris or London...But the chatter is that they'd better not count on it. The traditional sale of most ambassadorships, so aptly carried on during the Bush administration, may not continue...
Second, what could the Ambassador to England have on his schedule that is more important than attending a celebration and commemoration of a US president? Isn't this, in part, part of the job? When a foreign country goes out of its way to honor your country, doesn't that give you a unique leverage that should be capitalized on? Doesn't it follow that the only way to capitalize on it is to actually be there?
From all reports, Susman was not sick, stricken with illness or involved in a really intense game of Farmville. He simply didn't show up, as the representative of the United States, to an event honoring one of the greatest presidents in US history. Susman didn't show up to honor the long standing relationship that the US and Great Britain have; one that solidified in World War II, and was made stronger through the Cold War and its eventual end -- and end that was percipitated by the man they were there to honor! The event itself served British lamb and California chardonnay...not a coincidence, but a reminder of that relationship.
The London Evening Standard reported this quote from the event:
"Our ambassador should be here," said Lynn de Rothschild, the American entrepreneur who is married to Sir Evelyn de Rothschild and was one of Hillary Clinton's key fundraisers in 2008 as well as a supporter of several Republican presidential candidates. "This was an historic dinner to mark Reagan's centenary and to celebrate him as the man who ended the Cold War. What could not be more important?
This says it all. The event wasn't about politics, or partisanship. It was about the recognition that the world is a better place because Ronald Reagan helped make it a better place. Not just for Republicans or Conservatives, but for all people, in every corner of the world.
Obama doesn't care about that, and the skipping of the event by Susman proves it. Obama is beyond partisan. He is a manipulative ideologue. And Susman's no-show at the event speaks very loud and very clear. It says, "Screw Reagan."
We say, "2012."