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.