President Barack Obama is on the final leg of his first European trip as president, traveling to Turkey for a two-day visit. On his first stop in a predominantly Muslim country, Obama sought to rebuild ties with Turkey – a country spanning Asia and Europe which the United States needs to help solve confrontations from Iran to Afghanistan.
Tales from the Trail
If you want to know if there’s a difference between working for President Barack Obama and President George W. Bush, ask the man who’s worked for both: Defense Secretary Robert Gates. Gates faced that question on NBC’s “Meet the Press” on Sunday.
Good day you hosers!
President Barack Obama takes off to the Great White North today on his first foreign jaunt as president. Trade will top the agenda in Ottawa as Obama seeks to ease concerns about protectionism. He’ll also discuss the war in Afghanistan and clean energy technology with Prime Minister Stephen Harper and the Canadian Parlaiment, but the one-day trip leaves little time to get into details. Too bad, eh?
Defense Secretary Robert Gates is leading a double life these days.
Maybe that’s not so tough for a former spymaster but it does make for some awkward moments.
As the only member of President George W. Bush’s Cabinet asked to stay on under Barack Obama, Gates has to juggle working for the current White House and preparing for the next administration with the president-elect’s transition team.
“There’s only one commander-in-chief at a time and so I’m not forgetting at all, for a second, who is the president until noon on Jan. 20,” the former CIA director stressed to reporters on board his plane as he flew to Afghanistan this week.
But Gates admitted his dual role did “create some occasional awkwardnesses.”
Sometimes, he recounted, he has to say: “I would love to come to this meeting at the White House but I actually have a meeting with the transition.”
Gates made clear he had never missed a meeting with Bush.
But he added: “Let’s just say that if I’m faced with a choice between attending a principals’ meeting on an issue that I think is not particularly hot and meeting with the transition folks, I’ll opt for the latter.”