The Obama campaign appears to have come up with a neat way to deflect criticism of the presumptive Democrat presidential nominee's failure to visit wounded American troops while visiting Germany last month: have wife Michelle sponsor a meeting with military families.
As CNN.com reported Monday (emphasis added): "Days after a television spot from John McCain’s campaign suggested Barack Obama did not hold enough respect for members of the military, the presumptive Democratic nominee’s campaign announced Monday that Michelle Obama will host a roundtable discussion with military spouses highlighting the launch of a military families advisory group."
UPDATE AT END OF POST: OBAMA MISSES THE FOLLOWING TOWN HALL MEETING FOR A VACATION AND FUNDRAISER IN HAWAII!
I guess the campaign felt this was a better idea than the junior senator from Illinois attending a presidential town hall meeting to be held next Monday in Fort Hood, Texas, the largest active-duty military installation in the country (photo courtesy NY Daily News). As the Dallas Morning News reported Monday, much like in July when he couldn't find the time to visit our wounded soldiers at Landstuhl Regional Medical Center in Germany, Obama is also too busy to meet with families at Fort Hood (emphasis added):
Both major presidential candidates have been invited to the event, which CBS has agreed to broadcast live. So far, only Mr. McCain has agreed to attend. [...]
Obama campaign spokeswoman Shannon Gilson said that while the senator has a scheduling conflict on Aug. 11, he "strongly supports" veterans and military families, and he has worked hard on their behalf in the Senate.
Which meeting with military families do you think will get more media coverage: the one that Mrs. Obama attends on Wednesday, or the one that Mr. Obama is scheduled to miss next Monday?
*****Update: NBer James Makarski alerted me to a Sunday posting by my colleague Mark Finkelstein in which George Stephanopoulos spoke about Obama's upcoming vacation between August 8 and 15.
The Honolulu Advertiser detailed some of the Obamas' vacation plans on July 22:
U.S. Sen. Barack Obama of Illinois is expected to attend a private fundraiser for his presidential campaign on Aug. 12 at the Halekulani Hotel, several sources said.
Obama is expected to be in the Islands for about a week for a vacation and local organizers are also hoping for a public rally, possibly at Magic Island. [...]
The fundraiser is being co-chaired by Mayor Mufi Hannemann and corporate executive and prominent Democratic financier Walter Dods. Donors are being asked to contribute $2,300 per person, sources said, and can attend a reception with the Hawai'i-born candidate for $10,000.
The fundraising goal is $500,000 but some believe it may go higher given the initial interest from donors. One of the organizers described the response as "astounding."
Well, this certainly seems more important than attending a presidential town hall meeting at Fort Hood, wouldn't you agree?