Tags: Barack Obama | Anne-Marie Slaughter | Paris | unity rally | terrorism

Official in Hillary's State Dept.: Obama's Paris Snub a Mistake

Image: Official in Hillary's State Dept.: Obama's Paris Snub a Mistake
(Haim Zach/Israel Sun/Landov)

By    |   Thursday, 22 Jan 2015 09:59 AM

The United States was wrong for not being "front and center" in the Paris unity march held to honor the victims of a week-long terror attack scare, New America Foundation President and CEO Anne-Marie Slaughter said Wednesday.

"I just couldn't believe that the United States was not front and center in that march," said Slaughter, a former U.S. State Department official under then Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, The Huffington Post reports.

"I thought that was not only a moment missed, but it confirmed a narrative the Obama administration does not want confirmed, which is, you're not there."

The White House came under fire after neither President Barack Obama or another high-level representative went to Paris to join at least 44 other world leaders from Europe, the Middle East, and Africa to link arms and participate in the Jan. 11 anti-terrorism march.

World leaders — ranging from British Prime Minister David Cameron, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and German Chancellor Angela Merkel to Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov — were among about 1.6 million people at the Paris march.

Attorney General Eric Holder was in the city for meetings, but also did not attend the rally. Instead, the United States was represented at the march by its ambassador to France, Jane Hartley, and Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland, the leading U.S. diplomat for Europe. While both are powerful people, they are not widely recognized by the public.

The White House issued a rare apology the next day, admitting Obama or another high-level representative should have made the trip.

The snub is still bringing criticism that the United States was disrespectful of its long-standing alliance with France, which was rocked by attacks in Paris on the satirical Charlie Hebdo publication and on a Jewish market.

"Yes, it's optics, but it was a moment in which the world came together to stand for [what are] certainly American values," said Slaughter. "[U.S.] leadership would have been better advised to be front and center."

In other matters, Slaughter offered her advice to Democrats on how to push the party forward in 2016, saying it needs to be focused "less on specific interest groups and specific issues, and much more on a government that delivers. It's more the millennial, tech mentality of, deliver the services first."

She also said Democrats need to show "that government can deliver, and show people other parts of government are listening and watching"

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The United States was wrong for not being "front and center" in the Paris unity march, New America Foundation President and CEO Anne-Marie Slaughter said Wednesday.
Anne-Marie Slaughter, Paris, unity rally, terrorism
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2015-59-22
Thursday, 22 Jan 2015 09:59 AM
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