So President Obama has taken time of from golfing and setting the “DC Line” on college basketball to do a good will tour of South America, starting with Brazil and then moving on to Chile and El Salvador. It will be a five day, three country jaunt for some fun in the sun, as it were, since he’s not bringing any significant “policy gifts” with him, nor is he expecting to return with any.
That’s certainly a better of use of his time than dealing with the ongoing crisis in Japan, our upcoming war in Libya, or any of the domestic matters that people would normally expect and want the POTUS to be directly with.
But President Obama could improve relations with these Latin American countries and explore – vicariously one might hope and expect – the more pleasant aspects of these peoples. It would certainly be a good use of his time and energy. π
Obama’s first stop on his junket and possible the best place in the world to get to the bottom of our too-chilly relations with the Latin Americans is steamy, sultry Brazil.
I’ve got Obama pegged as a butt and leg man – not that there’s anything wrong with that; some of my best friends are butt and leg men – so the curves the Brazilians may throw at him during these negotiations should suit him more than well enough.
Chileans and their diplomacy are bit more varied and austere than what the Brazilians favor and Obama may need a bit more refinement and finesse if he wants things to reach a happy ending. I think he’ll be up for the challenge though.
Both Obama and the Chileans have a fondness for women’s athletics – or is it athletic women? – so I think they’ll find some common ground, though Obama may have to chaquetear before he can finally cachar.
Obama’s final stop is El Salvador. Far from being the savior of this this tour, El Salvador may well be the hardest place that the POTUS has to deal with. Salvadorans may seem eager and friendly at first glance but there are lengthy and complex rules that most often must be followed before any deal can be consummated.
This is where I think Obama will fall down. He has too much in common with the Salvadorans and that’s not going to work to his advantage. Then again, it may be a pleasant rest after the more involved and strenuous good will sharing in Brazil and Chile.
Truly, I hope President Obama enjoys his South American “working” vacation to the fullest extent possible – though I doubt that he’ll enjoy it as much as he could; all joking and sarcasm aside, he just doesn’t seem to me to be the type to do so and that’s all to the good.
I don’t even mind the American taxpayers funding this trip. I’d pay a lot more to keep Obama on the golf course, making sports predictions, and/or on these low-risk good will visits. The less time he spends trying to be POTUS the better off America is. The only downside is that it also improves his approval rating and re-election prospects. π