NEW YORK – President Barack Obama, in New York City to attend the United Nations General Assembly and the Clinton Global Initiative, has inexplicably decided to shun most of the visiting dignitaries.
No time for the Israeli prime minister, the deputy prime minister, the Libyan president, the new French president or Iraq’s prime minister.
But there are some people the president of the United States did make time for.
Barbara Walters and Whoopi Goldberg.
Walters, Goldberg and the ladies of “The View,” the daytime talk show on ABC.
The White House announced Obama and first lady Michelle will make a joint appearance on the TV gabfest Monday.
Today on “Fox News Sunday,” host Chris Wallace asked Obama’s senior campaign adviser Robert Gibbs: “You don’t have a problem with the fact that he’s not meeting with any world leaders, but he’s going to appear on ‘The View?’”
Gibbs responded: “I have no problem with that, because, Chris, you’re the president of the United States every minute of every day.”
Obama will address the U.N. on Tuesday morning, followed by an appearance at the Clinton forum that afternoon, before heading back to Washington.
More than 120 world leaders will be in New York City for the two conclaves, but other than a brief meeting with new Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi, nothing else is scheduled for Obama.
A high-level meeting of the Security Council is also scheduled.
There will be one opportunity to “mingle” during a state lunch being held by U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, but that will only last about an hour.
One person who has not passed on the opportunity to make the most of his New York visit is Iran’s controversial president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.
Ahmadinejad, in his last year in office, will spend almost a week in the city.
The Iranian will huddle with Egypt’s president, Libya’s new president and Iraq’s prime minister among others during his “swan song” in New York.
The Obama schedule has raised eyebrows in U.N. diplomatic corridors.
The Iranian nuclear standoff, recent riots in Libya and Egypt which led to the deaths of four U.S. diplomats, including U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens, yet Obama has little time to consult with dignitaries from the region.
Most of the “encounters” have been left to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, herself an already declared “lame duck” departing in January.
Sources inside the Romney campaign tell WND the Republican presidential nominee is likely to meet some of the same VIP’s Obama has passed on, but insisted such meetings are still being negotiated.
Romney is expected in New York to address the Clinton summit on Tuesday.
One person not surprised by the Obama strategy is former U.S./U.N. Ambassador John Bolton who told WND, “Campaigning triumphs over governance once again.”