President Obama is off on Air Force One to attend the Summit of the Americas this weekend in the beautiful seaside city of Cartagena, Colombia.
Secretary of State Hillary “The Texter” Clinton will be taking her plane — then heading from there to meetings in Brasilia and Brussels.
And Hill folks will also be headed to the quadrennial mega-gabfest to grip and grin with 30 or more other heads of government.
(The fun will be to see how things go when they run into lefty anti-Americans such as Venezuela’s Hugo Chavez or Nicaragua’s Daniel Ortega .)
A couple of House congressional delegations — including a bipartisan group headed by House Foreign Affairs subcommittee chairman Connie Mack (R-Fla.) — are packing to go. Also signed up are Reps. David Rivera (R-Fla.), Albio Sires (D-N.J.), Jeff Duncan (R-S.C.), Henry Cuellar (D-Tex.), Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Tex.) and Sander M. Levin (D-Mich.).
Curiously, not many senators seem to be going. In fact, it may be that the only one going from the Senate Foreign Relations Committee is Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), a possible vice presidential pick, who we’re told is flying commercial to attend.
Seems as if he’s going through a lot of trouble. “Senator Rubio has pushed to promote democracy” in the region, spokesman Alex Conant explained. “This summit is a good opportunity for Senator Rubio to discuss the importance of democracy with leaders from around the region.”
Well, if handled properly, it could also help boost his foreign-policy chops.
Reminds us of a foreign jaunt made by another potential vice presidential pick back in 2004. That would be John Edwards , whose criminal trial is set to begin Thursday in Greensboro, N.C.