President Barack Obama held a private lunch with several foreign policy columnist Tuesday, just before making his formal announcement about the U.S. post-combat plans in Afghanistan, and a day before he is set to deliver a major foreign policy address at West Point University, Politico reported.
CNN anchor Fareed Zakaria; Thomas Friedman and David Brooks of the New York Times; E.J. Dionne of the Washington Post; Jeffrey Goldberg of Bloomberg, Gerald Seib, the Wall Street Journal’s Washington bureau chief; Politico’s Susan Glasser; and Peter Beinhart of the Atlantic were in attendance for the 90 minutes chicken lunch in the Roosevelt room of the White House.
“Obama previewed his foreign policy speech tomorrow at West Point, laying out how he thinks of foreign policy today — a sort of Obama doctrine update,” a columnist who attended the meeting told Politico.
Obama is delivering the West Point speech on Wednesday. On Tuesday, he announced that U.S. combat operations in Afghanistan would end at the end of this year, but 9,800 troops would remain in Afghanistan after the start of 2015 in a security and advisory role only.
Most of the journalists the president leaned center-left, except for Brooks who is generally center-right, but frequently criticizes traditional conservatives.