At Invitation of John Kerry, James Taylor Sings “You’ve Got a Friend” to the French

by Ben Smith (, January 16, 2015)

Secretary of State John Kerry sought to show the United States’ support of France after the recent terrorist attack against the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo by having James Taylor sing You’ve Got a Friend at a Paris press conference. Nile Gardiner, director of Margaret Thatcher Center for Freedom at The Heritage Foundation, blasted this decision, calling it «embarrassing» and «cringeworthy».Screen-Shot-2015-01-16

«This whole event had an [air] of desperation», Gardiner continued. «It was a sad attempt by the Obama presidency to make amends for its appalling failure to show up at the Paris rally». The concert was a «slap in the face to our European allies by failing to show solidarity with the people of Europe and Paris» at the march. Gardiner added: «In humiliating fashion, you have the Secretary of State up behind a great American musician groveling, trying to give the impression that the administration cares about the trans-Atlantic. It doesn’t. This is Kerry and the administration leading from behind. Once again this is amateur hour by the Obama administration on the world stage. U.S. allies are looking for robust American leadership… A musical performance in Paris cannot disguise the immense failure of the Obama administration foreign policy». Kerry and the Obama administration have come under fire for failing to attend or send a top U.S. official to attend a march in Paris on Sunday to show support. The White House later apologized.