Yep. This should work.
Having found himself unable to cope with the problems of this Continent (high unemployment, rampant illegal immigration, home-grown jihadis, unsustainable public debt, moribund economy, all-devouring Federal Bureaucracy), President Marriot-Suites has decided to turn his mighty teleprompter skills upon the problems of Africa.
Because he's had such stunning success here, you know, why not take the show on the road?
I'm certain that bribing an Ivory Coast despot with the promise of a higher international role is a sure-fire bell-ringer. Why, if only someone had offered Hitler a higher international profile on the cocktail circuit of the swankier European capitals, things might have worked out quite differently.
What absolute blather this is:
Rhodes said the White House understands that U.S. involvement in African politics can be viewed as meddling. But he said Obama can speak to African leaders with a unique level of candor, reflecting his personal connection to Africa and that his father and other family members have been affected by the corruption that plagues many countries there.
First off, Obama himself has little "connection" to Africa, apart from being (half-) black. This is a man who was raised in Hawaii and Indonesia, and educated (so they say) at Harvard. The assertion that he has a "connection" to Africa is complete bullshit; no one has any connection to any place or culture that one wasn't actually born and/or raised in. An Englishman who vacationed in India is no more Indian than his pet goldfish. Obama is no more Kenyan for having lived in Honolulu and Chicago, and being raised by his white grandparents, then Bo the Water Spaniel is.
By all accounts, and I'm parsing the sources here, Obama's "African connection" seems to have consisted of short visits with an absentee father who could give a shit, because he was too busy playing at revolutionary and Pan-African Nationalist. Because the middle-class white chicks just dug that crap back in the 60's, you know.
And besides, Mr. President, isn't there enough for you to do here? I know, I know: doing isn't really your thing, but do you think that at some point you could at least make an effort to appear to be paying attention to your own citizens? A few minutes between vacations and press-conferences-where-nothing-actually-gets-said, at the least?
Playing to Africa is a desperate gambit by a desperate man who knows that his re-election is a lost cause. It tells me that Obama cannot look all Presidential and leadery-like over here, and so he has "raise his profile" by taking on "Big Stage" issues Overseas -- where no one can vote for him. It's the old "Great Man of History" routine,and every democratic president in trouble trots out this well-worn script; if you can't convince your own citizens of your greatness, then try to sell it to The World, so that you can always hammer your detractors over the head with "He may not be popular in Boise, but they love him in Soweto. You must be missing something" routine.
Eventually, most democratic presidencies of the last 50 years are reduced to the Grand Gesture, complete with all the pomp and trappings of grandeur; the Summit Meetings, The U.N. Speeches, The Great Diplomatic Potemkin-Cluster-Fuck in Geneva. Ultimately, it means nothing, but it looks good on the Evening News and in the History Books.
Obama and his Magic Teleprompter, and his super-human Turd-Polishing abilities, are not going to solve the cultural issues of tribal animosity, religious bigotry, corrupt politics, industrial underdevelopment, lack of a democratic mindset and widespread ignorance of a Continent that shits in it's own drinking water, and then does little more than breed and fight.
The point isn't to actually achieve anything, but to create the perception of accomplishment for strictly domestic audiences.
Or maybe it's just an excuse to drag Air Farce One out of the hangar again for some more R-and-R on the taxpayer dime?
I wonder how many golf courses they have in Zimbabwe?