At the time it was spun away with the arguement that the Prez was a very busy chap.
Actually it is because he didn't see the point in turning up to make Europe feel good about itself but achieve nothing.
But two cables made public as part of the WikiLeaks dump this week present a more complicated picture of the White House decision-making. They make clear that senior US officials believed that there simply was not enough substance to the agenda to make the meeting worthwhile.Loks like the US President is as he always was, an American after all.
The first cable details a February 1 meeting held between William Kennard, the US ambassador to the EU, and Spain’s then-EU representative, Carlos Bastarreche, in which the Spaniard pushes hard for an Obama visit, saying it would help thaw what “had become a strained bilateral relationship under President Bush” following Spain’s decision to pull out of Iraq.
But Kennard makes clear the US is wavering because of the lack of concrete issues to be decided on:
Ambassador Kennard assured Bastarreche the Summit was under consideration in Washington at present, but stressed the importance the Obama administration places on results. He said the White House understands the important symbolism of the Summit, but is very focused on the domestic agenda and overseas travel would have to lead to tangible outcomes.