by Chris Bodenner
Noam Scheiber spots an irony:

These trips are about atmospherics, with the foreign locales serving as sophisticated props. And maybe not so sophisticated, come to think of it. A rough analogy for the Obama overseas extravaganza is The Daily Show's international "coverage": A correspondent stands in front of a green screen, the Eiffel Tower or the West Bank appears in the background, and voila!, a foreign dispatch is filed. Yes, Obama's actual backdrops will be more authentic. But I doubt we can say the same for his experiences.

Obama, as is his wont, actually lodged a version of this complaint during the primaries, when the topic was the knowledge Hillary had supposedly gleaned from her own globe-trotting: "You get picked up at the airport by a state convoy and a security detail. They drive you over to the ambassador's house and you get lunch. Then you go take a tour of some factory or some school. Children do a native dance." Replace "ambassador" with "chancellor" or "prime minister" and you have a reasonable summary of this week's itinerary.

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