Barack Obama decided to head to Afghanistan for a pre-Christmas visit to the troops and to meet with Afghan President Hamid Karzai. But due to bad weather and "technical difficulties," the meeting was downgraded to a lousy phone call.
Upon landing today at Bagram Air Force base, reporters traveling with Obama were told that the Karzai meeting—which was probably pretty important considering all those leaking State Department cables showing what an incompetent untrustworthy crook we think he is—had to be cancelled due to bad weather. From the White House pool reports:
Obama was supposed to go to Kabul but bad weather will keep him at Bagram. Ceiling (cloud cover) was less than 1000ft. Winds were 45mph and above with less than two miles visibility. Conditions made helo travel "not an option," Gibbs said.
What Obama would have done: The president was due to helo from Bagram to the US Embassy in Kabul, motorcade to the presidential palace to meet Karzai. He was then going to motorcade back to embassy, hold closed event there to thank civilian govt staffers and helo to Bagram for rest of schedule.
But it's OK! We're the United States of America, the most technologically advanced nation on the planet, and we're not going to let a little weather get in the way of a face-to-face meeting between two great leaders. Cue the videoconference:
POTUS is expected to immediate motorcade to the headquarters of the 101st Airborne Division, where POTUS is scheduled to speak via secure videoconference with Afghan President Hamid Karzai for roughly 30-40 minutes.
Oh wait are you sure this is plugged in? He's not coming up on the screen—oh, fuck it. Who's got a cell phone?
From Robert Gibbs: Due to weather and technical problems, the secure videoteleconference is now a phone call. There is no pool spray.
So that's the story of Barack Obama's 8,000-mile flight to make a phone call. Basically, he is Jimmy Carter.