Everyone wants a crack at President Barack Obama: demonizers to tell him off, while acolytes would probably be happy just to touch a hem on his garments. Personally, I'm still trying to figure out who is and exactly what the hell he's up to.
Some think they will get their chance this March when he stops over in Guam. My term: I haven't seen anyone phrase it that way, but Guam's still a prime coaling station. Check the oil, kick the tires, stretch your legs and it's on the road again.
Oh, yeah; "he will speak with U.S. service members on the island," according to press secretary Robert Gibbs. Stalwart young men and women, clean cut (no t-shirt slogans and signs) and in the forefront where America's homeland security begins. This sounds like a script borrowed from the latter-day George Bush.
That's not meant to be as flippant and cynical as it sounds: it's what I'd do -- I could probably write the speech. The Guam activists and CNMI politicians looking for meetings and visits will very likely be disappointed. 'Bulwark' will be used once, 'defense' and 'security' several times. Japan will be mentioned, very diplomatically because of the new government's hardened stance on Marines in Okinawa.
It's been a cold winter in Washington figuratively and literally. Time to slide away from the domestic ruckus for a foreign policy War On Terror set-piece. "We're good guys," Indonesians will be told. (Like most of our Muslim allies, their draconian laws will be glossed -- though if anyone drops the word 'madrasa' into the comments I'll attempt to throttle them digitally) "WE are the good guys," he'll assure Australians... and we really wish you'd pony up some troops.
There will be pictures of shy, smiling students and Obama's kids will probably meet a koala. I predict... success.
Somewhere, I picked up the essentially useless nugget that, unlike airliners, Air Force One lands with enough fuel to get out of Dodge. They don't exactly keep the motor running, but that's one of many precautions. I'm sure that's part of the reason for the Guam stop, as is adjusting to different time zones. You don't want your President sounding incoherent due to jet lag.