President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama will fly down to South African next week to attend memorial events for Nelson Mandela.
The trip will showcase Obama on domestic and international TV networks, but take him out of the country as his deputies rush to repair the Obamacare network and as Congressional Democrats and Republicans rush to assemble a federal budget deal, due Dec. 15.
The White House has not said If Vice President Joe Biden will attend the event.
Reports from South Africa say the government plans a memorial event on Dec. 10 and a burial in his rural hometown on Dec. 15.
In a Nov. 14 press conference, Obama promised to devote more attention to rebuilding his Obamacare network, which has cancelled individual insurance policies held by at least 4 million Americans.
Officials claim the network has signed up 126,000 for commercial insurance in October and November.
“I’ll wake up every single day working as hard as I can on behalf of Americans out there from every walk of life who are working hard, meeting their responsibilities, but sometimes are struggling,” he said.
“I make no apologies for us taking this on — because somebody sooner or later had to do it. I do make apologies for not having executed better over the last several months,” he concluded.