For Obama abroad, side issues tend to befall him

JIM KUHNHENN Associated Press Published:

CARTAGENA, Colombia (AP) -- President Barack Obama's foreign trips have a habit of getting struck by distractions.

The allegations of Secret Service personnel consorting with prostitutes is the latest, and most scandalous, side issue yet. But whether it's candid moments caught live on microphones or launching bombs over Libya, his travels have developed something of a pattern.

Obama will wrap up the Summit of the Americas with a news conference on Sunday that may well force him to confront the latest troubles -- misconduct claims against Secret Service and military personnel assigned to make his visit to Colombia safe.

In travels to Latin America, France, South Korea and now in Colombia, Obama's intended message has been sidetracked, interrupted or even buried by bad timing, miscues or, in the latest incident, outright scandal.

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