What’s Behind Obama’s Snub of President Arroyo ?

A reader, Capolegis, commented that:

President-elect Obama accepted congratulations from nine presidents and prime ministers Thursday, returning calls from world leaders who reached out after his presidential victory.

In a report, Obama spokeswoman Stephanie Cutter said the president-elect spoke to Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd, Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper, French President Nicolas Sarkozy, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, Japanese Prime Minister Taro Aso, Mexican President Felipe Calderon, South Korean President Lee Myung-bak and British Prime Minister Gordon Brown.

Why didn’t he return the GMA’s call? Later on maybe?

This got me thinking . It’s unlikely that he will return the call anytime soon. And even if he does, the damage has been done. The brush off has been embarrassing. The president-elect is just “too busy” to take her call.

And this isn’t the first time that Obama snubbed GMA.

A scheduled meeting last June between Arroyo, who was visiting in the U.S., and then Senator Barack Obama did not push through, as the latter was too busy with his campaign, although they talked over the phone. And now GMA gets the cold shoulder again. What gives ?

It isn’t that the Philippines is not important enough and that he took the calls only of those countries whose cooperation is critical to America’s foreign policy initiatives. The Philippines is one of the few countries in Asia where the U.S. has a significant military presence and is a front-line in the war against terror.

Obama’s seeming antipathy is not a good sign, at least in the short term. His not even sparing a few seconds to say hello to the leader of what is supposed to be the United States’ staunchest ally in this part of the world signals his displeasure at the current administration. He doesn’t want to be associated with Arroyo, whose reputation even internationally has hit rock bottom, in the face of unending corruption scandals. And Arroyo’s obvious politicking doesn’t help any. She so desperately and annoyingly wants to be seen with The Man.

We can therefore expect Philippine-American relations to enter a chilly phase.

Let’s hope things improve once he settles into the Oval Office. He will realize GMA will soon be leaving and is close to being a lame-duck president. Filipino-Americans are too big a constituency to ignore and the country itself is of strategic importance, security-wise, in Southeast Asia. Obama knows this. And he’s a gentleman, or so it seems. He’s not a rude dude. Just that he finds it distasteful to be dealing with GMA.

15 thoughts on “What’s Behind Obama’s Snub of President Arroyo ?”

  1. Obvious animosity… I think Obama is just trying not to appear “close” as GMA has the tendency to appear “chummy” to other world leaders. Remember she used to gush and brag being a classmate of Hillary or something?

  2. Yes, she tried to capitalize on the fact that she and Clinton were one-time classmates in Georgetown. She wants to perceived as a friend of the popular Obama and bask in the goodwill surrounding him. She needs all the help she can get.

  3. @ thegreatest, social climbing on the world stage is exactly what she’s doing. Her behavior is in sharp contrast to daughter Luli, who has studiously kept a low profile in all her public appearances, particularly during her recent nuptials. The younger Arroyo has class.

  4. WTF does she want with him anyway?! Obama is busy with the ongoing transition of power and is poised to get the U.S. out of economic mess. Isn’t that is what shes supposed to be doing in the Philippines instead of soliciting attention in the world stage?

  5. You’re not stupid enough to believe this, are you? Jesus.

    Obviously, the first countries he calls back are the powerful first world countries (plus Mexico, America’s neighbor).

    Obama did call back Gloria this week. Among other leaders Obama was unable to call back until this week were the heads of Georgia, Turkey, Argentina, Chile, Ireland, Kasakhstan, the Palestinian Authority, Columbia, Nigeria, Senegal, South Africa, and the Secretary-General of the United Nations.

    Anti-Gloria nuts, as usual, are just trying to make the Philippines look bad with their bullshit analysis, taking the worst possible view on every issue. What a bunch of idiots.

  6. Gloria may just be concerned that the money spigot will dry up.How else is she going to line her pockets along with all the upper echelon politicos,if the US shrinks the amount of foreign aid they send to the Philippines.

    Thats the problem with sending aid to the Philippines,by the time all the politicians have lined up at the trough,and slurped up their fill,there is virtually nothing left for any worthwhile projects.

    A more corrupt and self serving government would be hard to find.

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