Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Thoughts on Trump's Non-Attendance

Some thoughts on Donald Trump's decision not to attend the Summit of the Americas.

1. This isn't shocking. He has made abundantly clear that he has little interest in Latin America and does not like traveling anywhere except to Mar-A-Lago and Trump Tower.

2. I agree that it will be harder to convince Latin America to do something difficult like sanction Venezuela without the POTUS, but Mike Pence is better at delivery than Trump.

3. There is no doubt that many, if not the majority, of Latin Americans attending are relieved. Who wants to deal with stupid tweets and awkward photo ops?

4. I am unconvinced that this is Marco Rubio's moment. Even if he has the president's ear, senators' influence can only go so far.

5. I will be interested to hear Pence's message for Latin America, but it's hard to know how much Trump might change on a dime anyway. It is literally true that what he hears on Fox News can shift his thinking within minutes.

6. Trump is not going to use this time to deal with Syria. Presidents have often balanced international affairs while traveling. Chances he plays golf one of those days is quite high.


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