On Monday's "Daily Show," Jon Stewart had just one thing to say about the lack of high-level American officials at the giant unity rally held in Paris on Sunday: "Je suis to be kidding me."
The rally, which has been described as the largest public gathering France has ever seen, saw over 1 million Parisians and various world leaders take to the streets in a sign of unified support in the face of the recent terror attacks in France.
French President François Hollande was there, along with German Chancellor Angela Merkel and even Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas. But the highest-level American was the ambassador to France, who was not part of the symbolic line of world leaders linking arms at the front of the crowd.
Atty. Gen. Eric Holder was in Paris, but did not attend the rally. On Monday, White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest admitted the administration had made a mistake, telling reporters, ""I think it's fair to say we should have sent someone with a higher profile to be there."
"How could Obama not be there?" Stewart said. "Look at how many world leaders he could have bowed down to and apologized."
By coincidence, Stewart happened to have one of the few people on as a guest on Monday who could speak of Obama's situation with some authority: former President Jimmy Carter.
"When [President] Tito died in Yugoslavia, you didn't go," Stewart pointed out. "You also took a fair amount of heat for that. What does that feel like and what is the decision making process to say, 'I'm gonna go/I'm not gonna go.'"
"It's a tremendous amount of effort that is made to get the president to go somewhere with 36-hour notice," Carter said. "I could understand how it would be very difficult for President Obama to go at the last minute."
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