Sen. Barack Obama has made a big deal about outreach to the rest of the world. He's right. America's reputation abroad isn't in trouble; it's in tatters. But, as I'm hearing from foreign correspondents, he isn't practicing what he preaches. Rather, Obama has apparently given no interviews to foreign reporters. Furthermore, he isn't taking anyone from the European press along his journey, which begins tomorrow. Not the BBC, not the Financial Times, not the Sueddeutsche Zeitung -- you get the picture. Many foreign news outlets haven't even gotten a response to their request to accompany Obama. Instead, it appears Obama's plane will be filled solely with American reporters.
As Steve Clemons of the indispensable Washington Note observes today in "Obama's Blind Spot," Obama isn't even visiting the real capitol of Europe -- Brussels -- and his advisors don't seem to have a good handle on the continent. In addition, Obama's attention to European affairs in the Senate, where he belonged to the European subcommittee of the Foreign Relations Committee, was at best skimpy. Obama's shunning of the foreign press is cause for alarm.