You won’t find it in the American media, but the U.K. Daily Mail has obtained confirmation from an administration spokesman that President Obama spent much of yesterday watching the NFL Playoffs (as I speculated).
According to an administration official, President Obama spent part of his Sunday afternoon watching a National Football League game on television.
In fairness, the playoffs took place after the rest of the world leaders had marched, along with U.S. representation that stopped at the assistant secretary of state level and an ambassador who was a bundler for Obama.
It looks to me as though Secretary of State Kerry may realize that his absence was a mistake. But at least he had an excuse: he was in India on official business, though with an executive version of the Boeing 757 at his disposal, he could have pleaded emergency business and departed for Paris. Instead, he said:
‘As everybody knows, I have been here in India for a prior planned event,’ he added.
‘I would have personally very much wanted to have been there but couldn’t do so because of the commitment that I had here and it is important to keep these kinds of commitments.’
But now, two days late, he is headed for the City of Light.
If Kerry actually had the guts his Vietnam War decorations normally signify, he would have resigned in protest over the president’s absence, and earned an honored place in history. But as a number of people have quipped, he is quite comfortable saying, “Je suis Charlie” because he used to say it all the time in Vietnam.