Conservatives have a new mantra: President Obama would rather meet with David Letterman than Benjamin Netanyahu.
Or, he'd rather meet with Jay-Z and Beyonce.
Obama will tape a Letterman gig today in New York City, then will attend a fundraiser hosted by music stars Jay-Z and Beyonce.
This will be Obama's seventh appearance with Letterman, his second since becoming president.
Conservativecritics contrast today's schedule with the fact that the president doesnot have a face-to-face meeting with Netanyahu planned for when theIsraeli prime minister is in New York next week for the opening of theUnited Nations General Assembly.
"President Obama needs to get his priorities straight," said Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn."What he needs to do is cancel his planned interview with DavidLetterman, cancel his meeting with Beyonce, cancel his meeting with JayZ, and instead agree to meet with the prime minister of Israel, BenjaminNetanyahu, because, you see, America and Israel have a commonality ofinterests."
Kenneth Walsh of U.S. News and World Report writes that Obama's strategists see the issue quite differently:
"Theysay Obama and Netanyahu talk whenever they need to. And, looking attheir overall communications plan, the strategists say a president needsto use various approaches to communicate with Americans because peopleget their information about politics and government in so many ways.
"That means going beyond the traditional news conferences and speeches. In addition to Letterman, Obama has already appeared on The Tonight Show With Jay Leno, The View, Late Night with Jimmy Fallon and various comedy-oriented shows on morning radio."