Obama To Meet With Dalai Lama Saturday – Hey, Didn’t He Offer To Meet With Others?

Obama’s still treating the Dalai Lama rather shabbily

The White House announced late Friday that President Obama will meet with the Dalai Lama at the White House on Saturday, finally putting an end to mounting speculation about whether the Tibetan religious leader would get an invite to 1600 Pennsylvania Ave.

“This meeting underscores the President’s strong support for the preservation of Tibet’s unique religious, cultural and linguistic identity and the protection of human rights for Tibetans,” the White House said in a statement. “The President will highlight his enduring support for dialogue between the Dalai Lama’s representatives and the Chinese government to resolve differences.”

The timing of the weekend meeting suggests the administration’s determination to attach as little pomp and publicity to the visit as possible. Until Friday, the White House had kept silent about a possible meeting after the exiled leader arrived in Washington on July 6; Saturday marks the Nobel Peace Prize laureate’s last day in the nation’s capital.

So, Obama’s kinda working the Dalai Lama into the schedule for the hell of it? The publication time of the Politico story is 8pm on Friday. There was nothing showing on the Presidents official schedule and guidance for Saturday when I looked Friday morning.

Obama’s meeting with the Tibetan leader in February 2010 drew criticism from some members of Congress and human rights organizations when a photo surfaced of the Dalai Lama exiting from a side door of the White House and walking past a pile of snow and trash bags on the ground.

During the exiled leader’s visit to Washington in October 2009, Obama was criticized for becoming the first U.S. president since 1991 to not invite the Dalai Lama to the White House.

The meeting is closed to the press. Most transparent administration ever!

Remember, though, that a few days back Obama had planned on inviting Congress members to Camp David to discuss the debt and budget, and both Boehner and Pelosi said “don’t bother.” Probably because they knew that Obama would spend most of the day goofing off (is there a golf course at Camp David? Nope, just a driving range). So, Obama’s schedule was clear for Saturday as of the 14th. Which means that the meet and greet with the Dalai Lama is a last minute deal. But, then, Obama has a habit of treating world leaders shabbily.

Crossed at Pirate’s Cove. Follow me on Twitter @WilliamTeach.

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