George Will echoes a particularly brutal blog post from Marty Peretz. Steve Benen offers a defense, and it's a decent one. But look: this Copenhagen trip was a big mistake on the president's part, a piece of political tone-deafness that anyone could see would backfire. He looks like the mayor of Chicago, not the leader of the free world. Obama has his signature domestic reform on the line at home; he's at the beginning of a critical period in negotiations with Iran; he faces an immensely tough call on Afghanistan; the recovery requires every ounce of his attention ... and he's dealing with touting his home town for the Olympics. Please. Someone needs to get a grip on his schedule. And he needs to get a grip on his priorities. It's not narcissism; it's arrogance.
Most of all, it was a dreadful piece of judgment. The president deserves every inevitable brickbat from the right; and David Axelrod should know better than to have left his boss this vulnerable at this critical juncture. I suspect the input of Valerie Jarrett and Michelle Obama. But the buck stops with Obama and he blew this one big time.