Volcano Won't Force Obama Into Skipping Indonesia Third Time

Monday, 08 Nov 2010 05:54 PM

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For those who wonder what’s shaking with U.S. foreign relations these days: Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has developed a reputation of sorts for quakes about the globe. And President Barack Obama must elude the ash from a deadly volcano during his Asian tour. For awhile, it appeared that the ash would force him to skip the Indonesian leg of his 10-day trip to India, Indonesia, South Korea, and Japan.

Obama, Indonesia, India, volcanoBut such fears were unfounded, according to The New York Times political blog The Caucus. Two previous stops planned for Obama in the country where he spent four years of his childhood were canceled for political (healthcare bill) and disastrous (BP oil spill) reasons, and some fretted that the volcano would make it necessary to skip it again, The Caucus noted.

After all, some media outlets noted, the voluminous clouds of ash spewing since Mount Merapi’s deadly eruptions just two weeks ago had caused several airlines to cancel flights.

But White House press secretary Robert Gibbs told reporters today that the president plans to leave New Delhi, after his three-day sojourn in India, tomorrow en route to Jakarta. The White House is monitoring the ash patterns, just in case, he said, but all systems are go at this point.

Meanwhile, halfway around the world, a blogger for the Toronto Globe and Mail got a charge out of an Associated Press chronicle about how earthquakes seem to follow Secretary of State Clinton around the globe. “What is it about Hillary Rodham Clinton and earthquakes? Seems the U.S. secretary of state rarely takes an overseas trip that is not in some way affected by a tremblor,” Michael Kesterton quoted The Associated Press as reporting. “She may not have felt the Earth move under her feet, but as her plane landed Friday in Christchurch, N.Z., the city was hit by an aftershock from a 7-magnitude quake that struck in September.”

Mother Nature apparently doesn’t care that it isn’t nice to fool with diplomacy.

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