Obama’s Muslim Ties

On the television screen before me, Air Force One has just landed in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, and President Obama has just descended the stairs, where he was met by King Abdullah.

Was that President Barack Hussein Obama? I only ask because the White House aides traveling with the president stressed Mr. Obama's ties to the Muslim world: His father and uncles were Muslims and the young Obama lived in Indonesia, the largest population of Muslims in the world, until he was 5 years old.

Doesn't this strike anyone as being a bit strange? Hypocritical, perhaps? Not more than eight months ago on the campaign trail, the same campaign aides to Mr. Obama told everyone who would listen that drawing a connection to his ties to the Muslim world was racist. Now the president's people are out there trumpeting such ties.

I find the president's crass political opportunism particularly revealing. During the campaign he apparently thought that having an association with the Muslim world wouldn't advance his political career. Now the same man, not a year later, will give remarks at the University of Cairo tomorrow in which he will highlight such ties.

Once again, this brings into bright focus my overarching problem with President Barack Obama: I don't know what he genuinely believes — I only believe he acts when he genuinely thinks adoring crowds or press coverage will follow.