Oh, those wacky open-mic moments.
In South Korea on an official visit, the President was coming out of a meeting with
Putin’s Chew-Toy Russian President Dmitri Medvedev for a joint press availability and –once again– didn’t realize that the funny thing with wires might actually be on.
Thus giving us this moment of presidential “D’oh!”:
President Obama: On all these issues, but particularly missile defense, this, this can be solved but it’s important for him to give me space.
President Medvedev: Yeah, I understand. I understand your message about space. Space for you…
President Obama: This is my last election. After my election I have more flexibility.
President Medvedev: I understand. I will transmit this information to Vladimir.
ABC’s Jake Tapper (1) relayed this White House attempt to pull the presidential foot out of the presidential mouth:
A senior administration official tells ABC News: “this is a political year in which the Russians just had an election, we’re about to have a presidential and congressional elections — this is not the kind of year in which we’re going to resolve incredibly complicated issue like this. So there’s an advantage to pulling back and letting the technical experts work on this as the president has been saying.”
As far as it goes, I agree with the “senior administration official’s” statement; major initiatives are hard to pull off in an election year, because anything you do is grist for your opponent’s mill, a hammer with which he can beat on you endlessly. It’s a truism of American politics and one reason why presidents don’t often get much accomplished in the final year of their first term.
But the official’s explanation also begs the question: Just what does President Obama need the space for? Just what was he discussing regarding missile defense? He’s already scaled back our promising program severely. What more was he discussing with the Russians that would be too hot for public consumption in an election year?
And why is he even discussing missile defense with Russia? Our program is aimed at one or a few missiles lobbed by rogue states, such as North Korea. Even if funded to the max, our missile defenses would be nowhere near capable of dealing with an arsenal the size of Russia’s. Nor is Russia even a credible threat to launch a first strike; the Cold War ended a long time ago, and Russia is in deep decline as a world power. This seems to be another example of Obama’s obsession with the strategic issues of the 1980s, when he was in college, the halcyon days of the nuclear freeze movement and arms-control agreements.
Oh, and just what does he mean by “all these issues?” What else needs to be put off until after his (God help us) reelection? What other of our interests is he willing to make a deal on?
Or maybe it’s the interests of others? This should make all those former possessions of the Soviet empire feel real secure.
William Jacobson is right: this moment of unintended transparency shows Obama will feel free to do whatever he wants if reelected. Remember, this is the man who wished he could “work his way around Congress.” Unfettered by the need for reelection and with the broad powers the presidency has in foreign affairs, he may well get his wish — to the nation’s detriment.
Let this serve as a reminder that, no matter how unsatisfying the Republican candidates may be, the overriding goal is to defeat Obama in November.
And God bless open mics.
RELATED READING: If you want to understand the “strategic vision” of the liberal internationalists now running our foreign affairs, start with Krauthammer’s “Decline is a Choice.”
UPDATE: The head of the House Armed Services Committee wants answers.
via Power Line
(1) Genuinely one of the best MSM reporters covering the White House.
(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)