Obama cancelled the UN lunch today for Heads of State, @innercitypress says: first time since 1986 the U.S. president hasn't attended.—
Richard Grenell (@RichardGrenell) September 26, 2012
President Obama was a no-show today at Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s annual luncheon, held in honor of heads of state and government. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who has been tasked with doing all of the heavy lifting at the General Assembly, attended instead.
Inner City Press reports that Obama ducked out early to fly back to Washington, D.C., and quoted a high-level U.N. official as saying “that the lunch isn’t listed on his schedule is insulting, or really, depressing.” As president of the host country, Obama was expected to attend and lead a toast. At last year’s luncheon, Obama noted, “I am very glad that it is not my last lunch, and we will have five more lunches in the coming five years.”
Ban says Obama asked him to express his regret for not being able to attend. "He must be busy with something, or stuck in traffic," Ban says—
Denis Fitzgerald (@denisfitz) September 25, 2012
The Obama campaign has been pushing $5 tickets to enter its “last dinner with Barack” fundraiser. Obama’s promise of five more lunches with the U.N. has already been broken; perhaps a different host will make time to fill the empty chair next year.