At home, earthquakes and eruptions are metaphors for what Republicans did to President Obama’s Democratic majority. Abroad, they are real-live natural disasters, which are altering the White House’s diplomatic mission. Obama will cut short his visit to Indonesia, where he spent the first four years of his childhood, because of the erupting Merapi volcano. Originally scheduled for 24 hours, his stay will be cut short by nearly two hours. However, White House Officials confirmed that Obama would still be able to give a speech to nearly 6,000 people at the University of Indonesia. Not only is Obama’s Indonesia visit a personal one, but it’s also an attempt on Obama’s part to continue to reach out to the Muslim world, since Indonesia is the world’s most populous Muslim-majority nation. But most importantly, Obama is touring Asia to help the U.S. economy, with the hopes of doubling U.S. exports in the next five years. Obama’s next stop on his Asia tour is Seoul, where he will attend the G-20 conference.
Diplomacy Roslan Rahman, AFP / Getty Images