Obama Attacked for Missing Unity Rally in Paris Sunday

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Yesterday saw some 3.7 million people unite against terrorism in Paris and in various places around France in unity rallies. The largest of these rallies was in Paris.

French officials of the Interior Ministry said the rally’s size was “unprecedented,” more than a million people in Paris alone (the Chicago Tribune reported estimates of between 1.2 and 1.6 million).

One thing is clear: there were a lot of people (note to Republicans: this is what a real million-man march looks like):


World leaders – forty of them (French station BFM said 44) – joined the people in Paris, including French President Francois Hollande, British Prime Minister David Cameron, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy. The Ukraine sent President Petro Poroshenko and Russia, Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov.

Though French President Holland asked them not to, according to Haaretz, even Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu put aside their differences long enough to join in common purpose in a march down Boulevard Voltaire.

But not President Barack Obama. It was not a secret or a surprise, since Agence France-Presse had reported he would not be there, and even the Russian news agency, Tass, had reported he would be absent.

It is not clear why he did not attend, whether it was security concerns (critics point out other world leaders were able to get around this concern) or for some other reason. WhiteHouse.gov shows no public schedule for the president on Sunday.

Secretary of State John Kerry was in India for a trade conference, meeting with another absent world leader, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, but the White House has not explained President Obama’s absence, or that of Vice President Joe Biden. Attorney General Eric Holder was in Paris and attending security meetings as well as taping interviews for American news shows, excluding Fox News.

What is clear is that the president is taking heat on this one.

Ultimately, Ambassador Jane Hartley was the highest-ranking U.S. official present at the march.

Jake Tapper on CNN questioned his absence. But it was the right wing that has really run with the missing Obama meme.

Rep. Pete King (R-NY) called it a mistake: “If the highest-ranking official is an ambassador, I would say that’s a serious mistake. We are looking for cooperation from around the world … we should have had someone there who is instantly recognizable (so people) see …and say, ‘That’s the United States of America.'”

The always trying to be relevant Newt Gingrich expressed his outrage via Twitter:

Kate Pavlich of Fox News immediately jumped on the “Obama is not one of us” podium and tweeted:

And a few hours later:

As did Fox News’ Todd Starnes:

When he had time to think of something really clever, he came up with this a couple of hours later:

Greta van Susteren tweeted as well:

The New York Daily News ran with the headline last night:

Obama and America shamefully skip Paris march against terror: The U.S. fails to join the whole world in standing by France

Fox News reported on his absence, as did RedState, which claimed Obama “skipped” the march.

The Blaze gave us:

‘Guess Who’s Missing?’: Americans Wonder Why Obama Skipped Paris March

Ron Ungar wrote at Forbes:

Shame On President Obama For Skipping The Paris Unity Rally Against Terrorism

“President Obama’s decision not to attend yesterday’s Unity Rally in Paris in response to the terrorist horrors of this past week – a rally attended by 40 world leaders including such polar opposites as Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas – may register as his most disturbing, and profoundly harmful, public relations mishap to date.”

Even MSNBC had to admit,

No senior White House official at Paris Unity rally

And of course, just this morning, World Net Daily joined the crowd with:


CNN reports that on Sunday night,

[A] White House official who asked not to be named added: “It is worth noting that the security requirements for both the President and (Vice President) can be distracting from events like this – for once this event is not about us!”

Speaking from India, Secretary of State Kerry defended Obama’s actions, saying,

“The U.S. has been deeply engaged with the people of France since this incident occurred,” and adding, “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.”

It is clear, as with anything President Obama does or doesn’t do, that the right will attack. Until President Obama himself speaks on his absence or some official word comes from the White House, it is pointless to speculate – unless you are a Republican and you need another Benghazi.

79 Replies to “Obama Attacked for Missing Unity Rally in Paris Sunday”

  1. Here we go again.

    Obama is a secret Muslim.

    They can front Mia Love a thousand times, and I still believe they are biased.

  2. I am still looking for the opinion on Obama’s absence from Paris from someone who really mattered. Fox idiots would find reason to criticize Obama no matter what he did. Same with Peter King. Didn’t see the Queen or the Pope there either. Obama being there just wasn’t necessary. Everything, every event doesn’t ALWAYS be about the US.

  3. Personally, I wouldnt want him to take that risk, since there was no time to prep for the trip/security. His responsibilty is to keep America safe, which includes our President(a knee-jerk reaction to go could be deadly). Then media would attack him for being lax. Damned if he does and damned if he doesnt.

  4. It is time to talk about the right wing terrorists, like those at the Bundy ranch, those also who tried to bomb the NAACP office in Colorado and the three right wingers who planned on a massacre of police
    recently and are being tried (I think, for domestic terrorism).
    Has anyone heard mass coverage in the media about these?

  5. What IS it about the media- yes, that includes MSNBC?

    The march was for EUROPEAN unity. US is NOT in Europe. We showed our allegiance in different ways that align with our place as allies and friends.

  6. At least we had someone there for the march. Yeah, it’s an ambassador, but it’s someone representing the country. As long as we had someone there, shouldn’t we just drop this petty crap about whether he has there or not?

  7. What one person in this world would have made the Paris rally the ultimate ground zero for EVERY EXTREMEST TERRORIST group (whether Al-Qaeda, ISIL, Hamas, N Korean, Neo-Nazi, etc, etc…) to want to attack?

  8. MSNBC is right wing well into the afternoon during the week. They realize the weekday morning viewers are old white peope. In the spirit of full disclosure I am old and white.

  9. Sally,

    You are spot on with your comment. The right wing vitriol would have been just as intense if Obama had gone to Paris. There is no way the right wing will ever approve of anything Obama does, no matter what position he takes on any issue or problem.

  10. I searched in vain for the same this morning, Jim. I saw references to some Democrats being upset as well but without any meaningful examples presented.

  11. First French Pres. Hollande told Netanyha not to come b/c this was abt the ppl not him. But arrogant Israel show up anyway.
    Secondly, it wasn’t a lovefest moment as the msm portray. Some of the ppl wasn’t that happy to see Netanyahu was their b/c of his slaughter of 5K Palestinans (incl. 1Ks of children).


    Once again, Amer. media show their simplicity, arrogance bias mindset. This abt the ppl of France..

  12. Your commentary is not unwelcome, but please spare the readers’ eyes: take the trouble to spell things out properly.

  13. There is no excuse for him not to be there. The 44 heads of state present would also be targets for someone who wanted to make a point, especially Netanyahu. Obama gave the finger alright, but it was to all our allies he refused to support in this. And his silence sends support to the ISLAMIC TERRORISTS – something Obama will not admit even exists. No wonder people believe he is a closet Muslim. He has released terrorists with no guarantees they will be monitored. This will come to our shores because of Obama’s irresponsibility.

  14. Why complain Netanyahu came but not the Germans or Russians or Ukrainians, etc? If it is about the people of France, none of those people are French either.

  15. It’s funny how the right only cares about the importance of an ambassador when they themselves are killed. Ambassador Stevens death launched a thousand Benghazi!’s, but the French Ambassador is there with all of these foreign leaders…. but the right wing doesn’t care.

  16. “People” don’t believe President Obama is a closet Muslim, right wing nut jobs believe President Obama is a …

  17. Good one, Joan!

    Bill O’Reilly, the loudest voice during 9/11, with his “Freedom Fries” nonsense, can now switch and flip flop, and yell out.

    “We are all France now!”

    Ba**=rd hypocrites.

  18. I get routine releases – press releases – from the US DOJ on prosecutions of hate crimes, some of which have conspicuous domestic terrorist content as well. I NEVER see these in the media.

    No one today is making clear that Aryan Nation leadership made alliance with Al Q’aeda right at the moment of 9/11. One would think knowing we have WHITE homegrown sympathizers (they are so anti-Jewish they decided Al Q’aeda was their buddy) would be important, but you can’t get the MSM to talk about that either.

    We live in total denial of the depth of domestic terrorism. Some was brought to the surface on Twitter over the shootings of the two police officers in NY, but overall the murders of police by white domestic terrorists is a shrug of the shoulders and brief story without enduring concern. This is the real enemy to the US. We are paying NO attention.

  19. Balihai,
    Why should Pres O be marching with the European Union? Give me one explanation. We were the first country to send aid, send our designated people over to help fight and capture the terrorists. I guess that isn’t good enough for YOU and your Rightie party is it.

    Why didn’t the Rightie-led Congress send a contingent over? Of course they could have. When Pres. O flew to Sweden to accept his Nobel Peace Prize, a contingent of Righties followed the president over to speak ill of him in another country. No, the Righties are cowards.

    Aside. This reminds of YOUR Mr. delicious Pres. Ronnie Reagan, yes, the man who never went to church while he was living in the WH, due to a possible terrorist attack on him! Mr. Delicious adulterer Reagan claimed he didn’t want to upset the parishioners. Did he get a lot of flack for that? Heck no, he didn’t

    All the Righties want is a photo op. They do not care one thing about Pres. O only that they tear him down.

  20. BaliHai84…Why was it okay when Bush released some of his fake prisoners? He put men in Guantanmo that had nothing to do with nothing. Their skin was dark enough that’s all. He never had the real bad guys in GB. Like good ol Mark said about you rightwing brainwashed by the uninformed FOX and GOP…”Never argue with stupid people, they will drag you down to their level and then beat you with experience.” Mark Twain

  21. B H.

    Netanyahou was asked NOT to attend by Hollande.

    All a big show for Rightie Mr. Netanyahou. He is very unpopular / tanking in his own country.
    Mr. Rightie Netan.attended only for that big one big photo op.

  22. Yes, hypocrisy at its best. Complaining that the President isn’t at an event they wouldn’t be caught dead at.

  23. Where are America’s two bullies Senator John McCain and his little buddy, Lindsay Graham? Why haven’t they inserted themselves in the “march?” After all, especially John McCain inserted himself over to Georgia and claimed (We are all Georgian’s now!”)

    I believe they are falling down on their job.

  24. Sally,

    Can just see the cauldron stirring and overflowing with hatred towards the President even if he did fly over and march in solidarity.

    Something like this.

    *Oh, he spent all that money on AirForceOne.*
    *Oh, that was just a photo op the President didn’t need to fly over to France. Just think about all the money at the taxpayers expense.
    *There he is again, inserting himself. Look. He is marching right in the front row. Imagine*

    Yes. That is what the Rightie Goons stand for.

  25. US President is excused as he has already given us his compassion through several press releases.
    Maybe you should show a little more respect for your president as he is really making great changes in your country and has saved it from the mess where the Republicans left it hen he took over.
    This march was a choice, which means they have the FREEDOM to attend it or not. If he had other pressing matters–for God’s sake he is a president!!–we understand. With all the killing going on with your police, we understand that he might have things on his plate.
    And to a accuse him of being a Muslim is so dumb!!!
    Actually your president is doing a great job and he is more respected in the world for his intelligence and humanity than your past presidents!!
    A non-Muslim French reader of your post.

  26. “He has released terrorists with no guarantees they will be monitored.”

    Tell me, how the “released terrorists” could be monitored? Ankle bracelets? Agents following them around? Do we assign one or two CIA guys to each one?

    “This will come to our shores because of Obama’s irresponsibility.”

    Really? I would say it would be because of the snit fit the Republican congress is having and threatening to defunding Homeland Security.

  27. “Ever since Hollande ascended to power, right-wing pundits have desperately plotted to couple Obama with Hollande as **two socialist peas in a pod. **
    But now he’s a pariah and a layabout for not rallying in solidarity with France and Hollande. Yes, one thing we can all count on in this life is that when it comes to Obama, the GOP will knee-jerk and take exactly the opposite position, even if it means directly contradicting their own prior views.”

  28. Now now. It’s not that Republicans are bad, it’s just that they need someplace to put all those bullets so they can expand their investment portfolio.

  29. If President Obama had attended the march the right would have found a way to make a big deal out of it. The French Government and other world leaders know that President Obama stands with them on the fight against terrorism…

  30. Exactly, if one of the US’s high ranking officials had shown up we would have been accused of grandstanding.Pres. Obama can’t win with the GOPpers and Teabaggers no matter what he does.

  31. Totally agree. And if he had gone, they’d complain about the expense and that he was only “grandstanding”. Nothing they say has any value.

  32. From what I heard, it was a joint decision between the U.S. and France that he stay home for security reasons. Why he would be more of a target than Netanyahu I have no idea..

  33. I called it a safe bet they would, yet this is the first confirmation I’ve had in a baker’s dozen years that they had.

  34. Absolutely they would have bitched about the expense of the trip, not to mention some other smear like “Obama sides with socialist surrender moneys”

  35. President Obama isn’t entitled to ever be “right”. That is reserved for the old white men calling the shots.

  36. You know what? I believe that there was some other pressing issue (National Security)that he was tending to (HUSH-HUSH), but the quibbling and second guessing was outrageous. Especially the ones that said:
    Newt Gingrich ✔ “Sad that 50 world leaders could show solidarity in Paris but President Obama refused to participate. The cowardice continues.”

    The cowardice continues?????? What’s THAT supposed to mean? Doesn’t make any sense.
    Then there was this:
    Katie Pavlich: Whose side is Barack Obama on? His silence speaks volumes. WHAT VOLUMES DOES IT SPEAK? Make some F’king sense!
    And a whole lot more spouting and foaming at the mouth because the President did NOT attend.
    When the real reason comes out, all of these doubters and criticizms will disappear. Pie in their faces, I betcha. The White House would NOT have skipped this Rally for no good reason.—common sense tells you that.

  37. I’m sure Fox, Red State, WND, etc. had alternate scripts ready in case Obama went. Probably something along the lines of “Egotistical Obama tries to make rally all about him.”

  38. Not that it means much, but as someone who lived in Luxembourg for a few years, I could go to France, Belgium, Germany and
    still be home by teatime all in one day, and for the European countries a trip to Paris is not such a long haul.

    Also, I don’t think for one moment that the secret service would allow the president to go, given the size and nature of the crow, just think what a feather in their cap it would be for the enemy to get to do something to the pres of the US. Then FOX would call him irresponsible.

  39. Did I say this on another post???

    The idiot tea bag/repubs wouldv’ve b*tched if he went, and they’re b*tching that he didn’t go.

    Either way, he’s wrong.

    Stephen Harper (PM of Canada) sent his public safety minister – Steven Blaney

    It was also a SECURITY ISSUE and President Obama would’ve stolen the limelight away.

    And yes, traveling within Europe is so easy with all their publicly funded efficient train systems.
    California just broke ground on the first high-speed train in the U.S.!!

  40. The tea bag/repubs worship known racists – the duck dynasty hillbilly, allowed a known speaker to a white supremacist group member and a KKK member (David Duke) into their flock.

    For the responders:
    Democratic Senator Robert Byrd was a known racist however he repented and embraced civil rights.

  41. 3 things. first, the rally took place to quickly and did not allow the secret service the time to prepare for a presidential trip to france as security would have been a nightmare for Obama. second, even if Obama did go, Fox News and the GOP would be bashing him for a blatant political stunt and cheap photo op. it does not matter what this president does, there will always be a group of rightwing lunatics criticizing his every move. third, in the days after 9/11, not a single world leader showed up here for any kind of rally.


  43. And, if President Obama had marched with Ferguson proresters, I’ll bet these same ass wipes would be singing a totally different tune.

  44. I get so fed up with all this form over substance bullshit. At today’s White House press-briefing Josh Earnest openly admitted that the administration should have dispatched a representative of greater stature to the rally. He also spoke to security considerations with respect to sending the President or Vice-President to an event with millions in attendance following a major terrorist attack in the same city with only a few days notice. In addition he talked about the impact of a Presidential visit on the millions of demonstrators. Such a visit can even paralyze traffic in a large American city when the President drops in for a ballgame so I shudder to think what it would do to a city with a million people already packed into it’s ancient boulevards. I would prefer to believe that our President and senior administration officials are planning and preparing for what will surely be a significant, if not massive, escalation of the already on-going “war on terror”. I have little doubt…

  45. I get so fed up with all this form over substance nonsense. White House spokesperson Josh Earnest admits that the administration should have dispatched a representative of greater stature. He also spoke to security considerations with respect to sending the President or Vice-President to an event with millions in attendance following a major terrorist attack in the same city with only a few days notice. In addition he talked about the impact of a Presidential visit on the millions of demonstrators. Such a visit can paralyze traffic in a large American city when the President drops in. I shudder to think what it would do to a city with a million people already packed into it’s ancient boulevards. I’d prefer that our President and senior administration officials plan and prepare for what will surely be a significant, if not massive, escalation of the already on-going “war on terror”. The whining I refer to is emanating mostly from the foxaholics and cable news alleged journalists an…

  46. It was a EUROPEAN UNITY march, are we part of Europe?
    Netanyahu was there for the Parisian Jewish community since they were also a target, but was asked to not attend.

  47. In the tea bag world everything is about ME, ME, ME, ME.
    How’s it going to affect ME?
    Why did I have to pay for it?
    It doesn’t affect ME so I don’t care.
    What’s in it for ME.

    They’re a selfish lot.

  48. It really doesn’t even need to be said, as it is now completely understood. the same rightwing, anti-American conservative and GOP lunatics who are bashing Obama for not going to france are the same rightwing, anti-American conservative and GOP lunatics who would be bashing Obama if he did attend the france rally. they would call it a shallow political stunt and a cheap photo op AND if Obama went and was seen anywhere near the Palestinian leader, the Fox News crazies would then accuse him of mingling with terrorists. they know it. I know it. you guys know it. nuff said.

  49. Wow, you sure had to twist that more than a pretzel to fit your little conspiracy theory. Thats just pathetic, go back to your teabag whackjob website,balihai84.

  50. did i really just hear some Fox News idiot say this is Obama’s Political Katrina??? it would be laughable, but these crazies are dead serious and that is very scary. it is so sad that these rightwing people absolutely HATE America so much and will do anything, even make things up to humiliate and embarrass the leaders of this country, its citizens and the country itself… the right does not care how much they hurt this country, as long as Obama looks like an idiot. I have never seen a larger group of outright blatant anti-americans and anti-patriots in my whole life.

  51. france has already responded. they said no, we do NOT think it was an insult that Obama did not attend- security would have been a nightmare. thats it. case closed for all normal, sane americans.

  52. And, of course, my favorite Tea Party darling has weighed in on Facebook. Sarah P. said how absolutely horrible it was that our failure of a president wasn’t in France to show his solidarity. First, it would be fun to see if she could even find France on a map. Having said that, if he indeed did attend, would her post sound more like…”look how smug and arrogant he looks as if he’s better than the other world leaders”, or would it be…”so glad to see our POTUS standing there arm in arm with everyone and doing such a wonderful job of representing the U.S. — thank you Mr. President!!”. I think it would be the former, don’t you?

  53. Ahhh Sister Sarah, hasn’t animal control gone after you yet?
    What is that word I’m looking for that rhymes with witch?

  54. The right wing and FOX are going to chew on this OBAMA NO SHOW for ever! Another Benghazi hissy-fit is in the works. The petty small minds in the Republican Boo machine are soooo glad they have this issue to feed their anti-Obama chants. But you know what? I think that there is a VERY GOOD REASON the President was advised NOT to go. It will all come out in due time. The whole Right wing is spinning this in some very illogical, foolish ways. Check out their points of admonitions, it is ridiculous and self serving.

  55. You know if Obama had gone the Rethugs would have complained about the cost, said it was just a photo op, asked why he wasn’t at home when there’s a high terror alert, called him arrogant for sticking his nose in, and claimed that he just wanted a free vacay in France… and so on, ad infinitum.

  56. Remember hearing the uptighty-righty’s outrage when Bush decided not to attend the dedication of the National September 11 Memorial and Museum because it would make him sad. :-( Yeah, their silence was deafening.

  57. That is exactly what has consumed my mind every time I see or hear of their hissy fits. Wonder what plan was in store for President Obama if he had gone? We know who is behind it. He outfoxed them..AGAIN.

  58. we need to answer a few questions. When America and other countries went to fight in Iraq for the death of 2,977 victims of 9-11, where was France? Just answer the question… When America sent troops to Afghanistan to stop Al-Qaeda where was France? Just answer the question. All these racist Americans that want the POTUS to go walk down a street with other world leaders (and BTW, they didn’t march with the ordinary lay people. They walked by themselves and the media made it to look like they were with the masses. Now how you gonna have that many leaders and have them walking without security? Easy. You have them walk by themselves and we will make it look like they were with the common lay person. FAKE!!!!!) because of 12 French people getting killed, yet we have hundreds of people over here getting murdered by thug police. And while we are at it, how come none of these leaders went to Africa after the Boko Haram killed 2 thousand people? Sorry, I could care less about France.

  59. Lets ask the real question first. What did Iraq have to do with 9/11? Nothing. And France knew it.

    French forces went to Afghanistan under NATO.

    Why are you not researching these cliches first?

  60. Because I knew I could get you closet asses to come out with misinformation since that is all the Republicans are good for. It worked within seconds too.

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