Everyone should be used to this by now, even world leaders.
After passing on dinner with the French president to go on a date in the City of Light with his wife last month, President Obama took leave of his Russian hosts on Tuesday night to seclude himself in his Moscow hotel with his wife, Michelle, and their daughters.
The first family enjoyed a relaxed evening at the O2 Lounge, the super-chic, super-pricey rooftop club at the new Ritz-Carlton, although no doubt the Secret Service first cleared the place of most if not all of the swaggering tycoons and leggy models who flock to such Moscow venues.
They could not ask for a more scenic vista. The glass-enclosed O2 offers a panoramic view of Moscow, including Red Square and the Kremlin, all the more striking as the lingering summer sun sets after 10 p.m. The club is “a place to see and be seen,” as its Web site says — that is, unless you are a visiting president who after a day and a half of blinis, beluga and bilats (the diplo term for “bilateral meetings”) just wants to hang out with the clan.
The decision to brush off the Russians on one of his two nights here miffed some in the Moscow government who did not understand why he would not devote the scarce time to his hosts. Mr. Obama had dinner with President Dmitri A. Medvedev on Monday and lunch with him on Tuesday. But with the second dinner slot unavailable, he ended up having breakfast Tuesday with Prime Minister Vladimir V. Putin, a known night owl not given to American-style early morning business meals.
The Obamas, though, wanted some downtime before getting back on Air Force One to head to Italy for three days of meetings at the Group of 8 summit meeting and, from there, to Ghana for a one-day visit. read more here.....