Allen B. West

Obama and Ukraine: Never let a bad crisis ruin a good vacation

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Former White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emmanuel famously stated, “never let a good crisis go to waste.” But President Obama’s interpretation of that is “never let a bad crisis ruin a good vacation.”

In what can only be viewed as abject disregard for the events unfolding, President Obama headed off for another vacation — remember he just took a golf vacation to California less than a month ago — this time to Key Largo, Florida.

According to Fox News, “The White House brushed off concerns Friday that, with the crisis in Crimea intensifying, now might not be the best time for President Obama — and his vice president — to go on vacation. The travel schedules of both the president and Vice President Biden have come under scrutiny, given the rapidly changing situation in Ukraine. Obama, already in Florida to talk about education, was planning to spend some family time this weekend in Key Largo, Fla., where he arrived late in the day. Biden, meanwhile, will be in the Virgin Islands.”

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So who is leading America? I simply don’t buy the excuse of “it doesn’t matter where the president is, he’s tied into world events.”

White House spokesman Josh Earnest said the president was doing exactly the same thing over the weekend in Florida as he would have been doing in the White House, “it’s just that the weather will be a little warmer.” I suppose the whole “climate change is a fact” statement by Obama from the SOTU address has inspired him to seek a sunny climate.

What these self-absorbed liberal progressives seem to misunderstand is the image being transmitted. We have video of Vladimir Putin with generals being briefed on military maneuvers. And we have President Obama running to elementary schools sitting on the floor with legs crossed and off to another vacation in Key Largo. What message does this contrast present? Putin has invaded a sovereign nation and taken over territory and military installations. Obama is chatting with elementary school students.

Obama mouthpiece Josh Earnest went on to say, “Obama plans to spend time with his wife and daughters while in the Keys, enjoying some of the recreational amenities on the property, including workout facilities, tennis courts, a couple of golf courses.” But of course he can stay in touch with world leaders as necessary.

Meanwhile, back in the real world, a Russian military truck broke down the gates of a Ukrainian base in the Crimean port city of Sevastopol and the installation was under siege by pro-Russian troops on Friday, the day Obama went on vacation.

About 100 Ukrainian troops are stationed at the base, Interfax reported, citing a duty officer and Ukraine’s defense ministry. In the week since Russia seized control of Crimea, Russian troops have been neutralizing and disarming Ukrainian military bases on the Black Sea peninsula. Some Ukrainian units, however, have refused to surrender. Crimea’s new leader has said pro-Russian forces numbering more than 11,000 now control all access to the region and have blockaded all military bases that haven’t yet surrendered.

The expected liberal response will be to blame Bush or say Bush did it too. I for one apologize to the people of Ukraine that our president needed to relax due to his very stressful job. I’m sure he has a cell phone and can call and beg Vladimir Putin to please stop interrupting his R&R. After all, we don’t want to disturb His Highness with the travails of people watching their country being invaded by a dictator — nah, that’s above his pay grade and wasn’t in the presidential duty description. All that was required was to give speeches and take vacations, not really lead, govern, or make decisions. Or perhaps he was handed a special job description that said simply “per Jimmy Carter.”

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