White House Spins Asia Trip

Before President Obama even boarded the plane home from his weeklong Asian junket, his spin doctors were already selling the trip as a diplomatic success to reporters, despite some perceptions that the trip failed to produce substantive results. A White House statement said that compared to George W. Bush, Obama had put alliances "on firmer footing" and "reasserted our leadership in the region" since "overall, American leadership was absent from this region for several years." Top Obama adviser David Axelrod said the president's town hall in China, which was not broadcast widely, still made a "strong statement to a Chinese audience" on issues "central to our values." Finally, analysts in South Korea, where Obama ended his Asian tour, felt that that Obama and South Korean President Lee Myung-bak made "well-couched" comments about the looming nuclear threat of North Korea.