President Barack Obama says he didn’t consider skipping an exhibition baseball game between the Tampa Bay Rays and the Cuban National team in Cuba because of the deadly terrorist attacks that took place just hours before in Belgium. Obama says the premise of terrorism is disrupting ordinary’s people lives and he’s not giving in to their mentality.
It was a mistake on the part of President Obama who was watching the game and talking to ESPN while a major terrorist attack was being investigated. European and NATO leaders where condemning the attacks that killed 31 and injured over 250 people in two separate attacks in Brussels.
The president would have been better served to allow his family to attend the game while being engaged in conversations on how the United States could better help their European partners. The president should have been talking to his European counterparts about getting a more comprehensive intelligence on ISIS so that these attacks can be stopped.
Sitting at a baseball game showed a detachment from what was going on in Europe and while President Obama may have been getting briefings from his national security team. But having the world watch the president of the United States watching a baseball game while Brussels was in lock down.
On 9/11 President George W. Bush never lived down the pictures of him reading to a class at Emma E. Booker Elementary School in Sarasota. He continued to read to the class after being told that a second plan had hit the World Trade Center.
Bush was told to stay where he was because it was not sure if it was safe for him to return to Washington at the time. He was in an awkward position of knowing that something dire was happening but needed to wait for the go ahead from his staff to leave.
Yesterday at the baseball game in Cuba, President Obama was aware of the problems going on in Europe and made the choice to not act presidential. It was a misstep that he will have to live with and explain sometime down the line.