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Obama agenda: Historic visit

The AP: “In his first trip abroad since the summer heat of the re-election campaign, President Barack Obama will seek to reinforce American influence in Southeast Asia in spite of the large shadow cast by China. He [was] the first U.S. president to visit Myanmar, an appreciation for its steps toward democratization, as well as Cambodia.” It’s Obama’s fourth trip to Asia. “The Asia trip underscores Obama’s efforts to establish the United States as an Asia-Pacific power, a worldview defined by 21st century geopolitics but also by Obama’s personal identity as America’s first Pacific president.”

Reuters: “Barack Obama became the first American president to visit Myanmar on Monday, using a six-hour trip to balance U.S. praise for the government's progress in shaking off military rule with pressure to complete the process of democratic reform.”

Say uncle… “Arizona Sen. John McCain said on Sunday he wants U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice to publicly announce she was wrong in saying the attack in Libya was sparked by spontaneous protests to an anti-Islam Internet video,” Politico writes, adding, “If Rice came back on ‘Face the Nation’ and acknowledged she was wrong, McCain said, it would help her case in the Senate if President Barack Obama does nominate her to succeed Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.”

And this: "I wish the president wouldn't get mad me," McCain said. "I wish he would spend our time together in finding out what happened, what caused it."

National Journal’s Michael Hirsch: “[T]here are other issues with Rice’s record, both as U.N. ambassador and earlier as a senior Clinton administration official, that are all but certain to come out at any confirmation hearing, many of them concerning her performance in Africa. Critics say that since her failure to advocate an intervention in the terrible genocide in Rwanda in 1994 — Bill Clinton later said his administration's unwillingness to act was the worst mistake of his presidency — she has conducted a dubious and naïve policy of looking the other way at allies who commit atrocities, reflecting to some degree the stark and emotionless realpolitik sometimes associated with Obama, who is traveling this week to another formerly isolated dictatorship: Burma.”

“In the last three weeks, public interest in global warming has undergone a remarkable revival. Already, environmentalists are renewing calls on Obama to reject a controversial Canadian oil pipeline and to put strict greenhouse gas emission standards in place,” The Boston Globe writes. “But energy and environmental analysts warn that idealistic calls to action may end up hurting climate change policy efforts: With Republicans controlling the House and Democrats the Senate, and the nation facing a hard economic path, they argue any gains need to be made through consensus from both sides of the aisle.”