Saturday, October 30, 2010

Cllinton and Bush acknowledged their electoral defeats before fleeing to refuges in Asia; will Obama do the same?

Barack Obama is fleeing the United States after the Republican landslide. But hold the excitement conservatives. It's only temporary.

Winners might go to Disneyland. But defeated presidents seemingly favor Asia.

Bill Clinton fled to Asia not long after Democrats suffered their historic blowout in 1994. George W. Bush was Asia bound following his famous declaration of the GOP's "thumpin'" in the 2006 midterm election. Now Obama shall do the same. And in record time.

A mere three days after Tuesday's election, President Obama leaves for a 10-day sojourn abroad. Obama's taking more time away than Clinton or Bush. But Obama will likely have more to recover from. Tuesday's election could be the largest landslide since FDR's day.

White Houses dependably claim these trips are coincidence. It's pro forma spin. Administrations cite this occasion or that summit. But more is always at play.

In March, amid the brutal healthcare fight, Obama postponed his Asia trip until June. Obama postponed it yet again in June. It was the BP oil spill then. The president cannot be abroad when his signature legislation is on the line. Nor when there is a crisis at home. It's poor political theatre. But the long-foreseen wave comes next week. The president's party is to be swept. No president wishes to prolong that narrative.

But will Obama first recognize the event? Both Bush and Clinton stood before reporters the day after. They took the hard questions.

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