President Barack Obama does not seem to care very much about Europe.
A series of notable slights by the White House have led to a sense of neglect on the continent. The president skipped the commemoration of the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall. Adding insult to injury, while Europe was busy celebrating its remarkable unification in the wake of communism's collapse, the White House was talking up the notion of America as a "Pacific power" and of the rise of a new G-2 grouping between the U.S. and China. Last month, the White House leaked word that Obama would be too busy to attend the upcoming EU-U.S. summit in Madrid. Making matters worse, it did so without even informing Spain's Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero -- who was en route to Washington and who had been counting on Obama's visit as a means to shore up his own domestic popularity -- beforehand.
These, as well as other gaffes and snubs, have put European leaders in a sour mood and created the impression that Obama is one of the least Atlanticist presidents in recent American history. This view is exaggerated in some ways. Obama has traveled extensively throughout Europe, both early on in his administration as well as before taking office, and he has worked closely with European leaders at numerous international summits.