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Rebuked by voters, President Barack Obama is turning overseas, heading to Asia for 10 days of diplomacy, tourism and dealmaking that could boost the battered chief executive and highlight his political skills on the world stage.
Obama risks criticism he's fleeing the Democrats' midterm election wreckage for friendlier territory as sets out Friday on the longest foreign trip of his presidency, a sojourn through India, Indonesia, South Korea and Japan aimed at highlighting America's increasing engagement with Asia.
The trip is anchored by must-attend gatherings of world leaders in South Korea and Japan, timing unconnected to Tuesday's midterm elections. The abbreviated stop in Indonesia, where Obama spent four years as a boy, was already canceled and rescheduled twice.
In India, the White House is intent on showcasing its commitment to the world's largest democracy, and U.S. economic engagement with a huge and growing trading partner. The administration also views strengthened ties with India and other Asian democracies as a counterbalance to China's rising power.