November 18, 2009
Last Look On O China Trip: A Little Cold
How did this read to me on first pass, through this week’s media filter?
…A nation of umpteen billion people and Obama, a man recognized for wowing the crowds and stirring hope in the masses, especially overseas, is featured today on the newswires wrapping up his China trip alone at the Great Wall.Either through lack of informed strategy, or a desire to placate, or real cards to play, Obama’s failure to gain with the Chinese makes him come off, instead, more like a tourist with a steep hill to climb.
However, there was zero chance a triumphant image was going to come out of this trip, the Chinese being almost constitutionally disposed to stymie their charismatic visitor. And, after years of economic and leadership free fall, it’s as much true that America has been left looking up.
Combine the demand for spectical with the obsession with an otherwise meaningless bow in Japan, and the domestic media’s bottom line on this bridge-building excursion and, yes, “look-see,” was of some kind of distant and solitary failure.
REVISED 11/19 9:30 PST
(photo: Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images. caption: US President Barack Obama tours the Great Wall on November 18, 2009 at Badaling, northwest of Beijing. The US president was to wrap up his maiden trip to the world’s most populous nation with a bit of tourism — a visit to the Great Wall, one of China’s most treasured landmarks — before heading to South Korea.)