It’s barely even Sunday, and we have the first big piece of news at the General Assembly of the Jewish Federations of North America: President Obama has canceled his highly anticipated speaking appearance Tuesday because he will instead attend memorial services for the victims of the shootings at Fort Hood, Texas. The talk at the GA was to be Obama’s first to a Jewish audience since becoming president. Here’s the message from the Jewish Federations’ PR team:
We have learned that due to the tragedy at Fort Hood, Texas, President Obama will not be able to attend the GA of The Jewish Federations of North America. President Obama sent his regrets, but explained he will be attending a memorial service at Fort Hood this Tuesday, Nov. 10, when he was originally scheduled to address the GA. We are fortunate that White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel will address the GA on behalf of the Obama Administration. In addition, a small group of top leaders from The Jewish Federations will meet with President Obama at the White House. Rahm Emanuel will speak during the closing plenary at 11:00 a.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 10.
Vice President Biden had agreed to speak at the GA weeks ago, but was scratched when Obama made the surprise decision to rethink his initial decision not to address the GA. Now attendees will be hearing from the highest-ranking Jewish official in the White House.
Obama’s meeting with federation leaders will happen sometime Monday, I hear.