White House struggles to explain why Obama was missing in Paris; Dana Perino helps – sort of

With fallout growing from President Obama’s embarrassing decision to skip Sunday’s rally in Paris of world leaders standing against terrorism, longtime administration allies in the networks are passing along out questionable cover stories, while longtime critics said the White House probably wants a “do-over.”

On CBS “This Morning,” 50-year correspondent Bill Plante explained, with a straight face, that planning for the rally only started on Friday and “there were apparently no formal invitations.

“The White House reaction was the president’s security would significantly have interfered with the crowd of a million or more expected to attend,” he said.

Somehow, despite the absence of “formal invitations,” 40 leaders of the world, including the prime minister of the United Kingdom David Cameron and Germany’s Angela Merkel managed to squeeze it into their schedules. (They don’t care much about NFL playoffs over there.)

And as for security, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu managed to march without a noticeable disruption – and even the Obama White House can’t be arrogant enough to think the president is a more endangered creature than Netanyahu. (Kind of makes you wonder who the chickensh** really is.)

Meanwhile, Dana Perino, a co-host on Fox’s “The Five” and a former communications director for George W. Bush, said on “Fox & Friends” Monday that the White House probably wants a “do-over” on the whole affair.

The administration might have considered its participation “just symbolism,” she said.

“But symbolism is important. That’s why you do things like speak in front of Greek columns when you’ve won the Democratic nomination ….

“I don’t think other presidents would have missed it … I do think they would have found a way to send someone.”

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