Published November 06, 2009
Although it took President Obama six months after he took office to finally visit Afghanistan and assess the situation there, it's a little understandable since the country is unsafe and Washington is nearly 7,000 miles from Kabul.
But yesterday, 13 of our own troops were killed and 30 others were injured in Fort Hood, Texas at a secure U.S. Army base and the president is nowhere to be seen.
That's a little disappointing, especially since Obama doesn't seem to have problem making appearances everywhere else when it comes to the little things that don't really count.
After all, President Obama seemed to make it to Manhattan last month when Goldman Sachs, his number one Wall Street campaign contributor along with several other shadow banking firms attended an expensive DNC fundraiser at New York City's Columbus Circle.
He also didn't seem to have a problem appearing on "The Late Show with David Letterman" in September or taking time out of his schedule to drink a beer with a Harvard professor and Cambridge police officer who had a dispute over a local, misdemeanor arrest in July.
Let's also not forget the president's overseas trip to Denmark with television talk show host Oprah Winfrey last month to try and convince Olympic committee officials to land the 2012 games in his hometown of Chicago.
The president sure is a busy guy.
Despite all of these impressive diplomatic missions, you would think that 43 Americans, many of whom were probably military personnel being shot at one of America's largest military bases would warrant a visit from the commander in chief.
In the meantime, Obama did order all flags flown at the White House and other federal buildings flown at half-mast, calling it a modest tribute to those were killed and serve in the armed services.
That's putting it mildly.
Now maybe I'm being a little hard on the president, but I don't think so. It would just be nice if we had a president who seemed like he actually cared about the things that actually count as opposed to jet-setting all over the place to Wall Street fundraisers and comparing egos with daytime and late night talk show hosts.
Even Chris Matthews complained on MSNBC's "Hardball" in late October that he was dismayed at all of the fundraising activities the president was attending and international media outlets have noticed overseas that his priorities seem to be out of place.
"While campaigning could center around soaring rhetoric, governing is altogether messier,"wrote UK Telegraph columnist Toby Harnden. "It involves tough unpopular choices, and cutting deals with opponents. It requires doing things rather than talking about them, let along just being. Mr. Obama is showing little appetite for this. Instead of being the commander-in-chief, he is the campaigner-in-chief."
Maybe Senior White House adviser David Axelrod's 2006 campaign memo to Obama that told him, "You care far too much what it written and said about you," was dead on. Maybe that's why Obama is also spending what appears to be more time waging a war against conservative media outlets as opposed to the real war we're fighting in Afghanistan.
Last month, even late night talk show host Jay Leno quipped, "President Obama agreed to commit an additional 40,000 troops to fight Fox News."
Now the war is being brought back to our home front. There's no way to know at this early stage if Army psychiatrist Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan's motives were truly political or if he was just psychologically disturbed.
Either way, this is one of the worst shooting massacres in American history and ironically, it happened at a secure, U.S. Army military installation. That's the president's turf and he should be there, at the very least as a symbol of "hope" to those family members who lost loved ones.
Where's the inspirational Obama when you really need him?
Jeffrey Scott Shapiro is a Washington, D.C. based lawyer and investigative reporter who can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.