Cancel the sight seeing. With the situation escalating in Libya, President Obama scrapped Wednesday's his public schedule. He was expected to visit the San Andres Mayan Runins and meet with US Embassy staff. But instead, he will now spend the entire day at the American Embassy, where he is expected to participate in at least one conference call on Libya before returning to Washington a few hours ahead of schedule.
Throughout the Latin America trip, President Obama's aides have insisted there is no reason to cut the trip short, that he can manage the situation appropriately from the road. Obama has been briefed regularly by his National Security Advisor Tom Donilon and also held conference calls with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Mike Mullen, Secretary of Defense Bob Gates, and Commander General Carter Ham.
Ahead of the trip, Press Secretary Jay Carney insisted there would be no reason to cut the visit short.
"He obviously is capable of maintaining contact with Washington and being constantly updated," Carney said.
But from its start, the focus of the South America trip has been on Libya, which has overshadowed the Latin American priorities the administration hoped to highlight.
And with no public events Wednesday, the White House Press Corps will return to Washington ahead of President Obama.
El Salvadorian President Mauricio Funes expressed disappointment in Obama's short trip in his country, saying Tuesday he hopes president Obama will enjoy his "few hours" in El Salvador and wished Obama could say longer.