Political Satire by C. Gravelchuk (Saturday March 13, 2010)

On Friday, the White House announced that Obama is postponing his trip to Australia and Indonesia so that he can help broker last minute deals on a healthcare vote.  Is this really the reason? While we have become accustomed to the daily “campaign style” Air Force One flights to every small town to read a speech and provide the photo-op of the day, the leaders and citizens in Australia and Indonesia have been looking forward to this historic Presidential visit.  No doubt tight security implementations and weeks of planning the head-of-state events must now be re-worked.  Many important people flying in from around those countries to meet President Obama may now need to re-arrange travel plans on short notice.  Additionally, the perception of America and our President overseas may suffer.  They may perceive that Obama values his own cheerleading of Congress over respecting commitments and plans of the Australian and Indonesian leaders.  (I thought Bush, not Obama, was supposed to be the President that no one respected.)  Well, at least Obama has already slighted Prime Minister Gordon Brown of the UK , so perhaps this will be forgiven as just bad manners.  Still, there must be more. There must be another reason for such a major decision affecting so many.

The media suggests that the postponed trip is to arm-twist a few more health care votes.  I can see how this conclusion can easily be reached.  After all, the President delayed his December trip to Hawaii and kept the Senate and its entire staff in DC to vote on Christmas Eve.  Surely, though, the maneuver behind closed doors this Friday to add direct government control of student loans to the health care bill was enough to get these extra votes.  So why delay an important foreign trip?  What could the real reason be?

Oh, yes, I forgot that it is March and the basketball tournament is about to start.  The original trip was planned to start on Thursday.  There are 32 basketball games on Thursday and Friday and another 16 over the weekend.   Whoever originally planned this trip obviously forgot that Obama was a huge basketball fan.  Last year, he was even on ESPN filling out a bracket and explaining it on TV so that we could follow his picks.  This new travel schedule is perfect!  Obama does not leave until Sunday and can watch the late games on Air Force One as he travels.  He can then conduct his mundane worldly business while there are no games being played.  His new schedule shortens his trip by a day. This allows Obama the opportunity to catch the first of the Sweet-Sixteen games on his long flight home. A truly brilliant use of the President’s time!

I am sure the Aussie’s will be relieved that trip delay has a much greater reason behind it than just cheerleading wildly unpopular healthcare reform for the 14th straight month.  They love sports down under–they will understand completely.  And the Democrats can relax about the arm twisting; take their time; and hope Obama forgets about the bill when he returns.  And the Republicans can sigh in relief that their continued bi-partisan opposition to the bill in the House will hold together–at least until after the Final Four in April.  Finally, the rest of America can stop thinking about what crazy deals are being worked behind closed doors and fill out those brackets.  My apologies mate, for any inconvenience this schedule delay may cause….but its sports, you understand.

***end of satire***