Cursed Travel? Obama's Trips Overshadowed by Natural Disasters

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Mother Nature Casts Cloud on Obama's International Trips

International trips for presidents have become more important in recent years as the global economy becomes more connected. At the same time, opposition parties have increasingly exploited such trips for political gains.

Republicans, and even some liberal Democrats, took much issue with Obama's trip to accept his Nobel Peace Prize in 2009 on the taxpayers dime. Many didn't think the president was deserving of the world's most prestigious award, especially at a time when he was overseeing one of the longest wars in U.S. history.

Although these presidential trips may at times appear insignificant to the ordinary eye, experts say they have important policy ramifications. Canceling them can often cause ire in the host country, and delay important negotiations.

Presidents also run the risk of offending their international allies if they cancel. Obama's two cancellations to Indonesia caused disappointment in the country that has become one of the United States' most crucial partners in the Muslim world.

Officials said they felt snubbed by the multiple cancellations, and U.S. critics used the opportunity to rile their supporters.

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