Friday, July 10, 2009

 

The Trip to Russia

The President had a recent sit-down in Moscow with ABC’s Jake Tapper during which he explained what a remarkable job he is doing “resetting” things with the world. Charles Krauthammer has a more practical outlook on the President’s performance:

“The pursuit of such an offensive weapons treaty could nonetheless be detrimental to us. Why? Because Obama's hunger for a diplomatic success, such as it is, allowed the Russians to exact a price: linkage between offensive and defensive nuclear weapons.”

Anne Applebaum, who is usually a fairly levelheaded read, opines that the President spending the bulk of his time with Medvedev vice Putin was some sort of grand design:

“The decision to focus the American president's visit on Medvedev instead of Putin could therefore be what British civil servants call "very brave," not least because if you don't talk to the person who's really in charge, you can't expect to get much done.”

Or…

…maybe it was Putin who couldn’t have been bothered to spend more time with our President. By most accounts, Russia has avoided Obamania so no political advantage was to be gained by taking advantage of such a photo op. Putin could reasonably have figured he could send out his lackey and get the same results.

Besides, I’ve seen nothing that indicates the Russians have any particular respect for our “brilliant” president but at least some indication that they (read: Putin) may enjoy tweaking him…because we all know that the surest way to stick it to this Administration is to say nice things about the previous one:

“During the last years we have been working on strengthening Russia-U.S. cooperation. Although there were differences between our countries, I always valued your openness and sincerity," Putin said, congratulating Bush on his 63rd birthday on July 6.” Putin praises Bush hospitality during Obama visit

Side Note: President Obama’s main speechwriter, Jon Favreau, went to Holy Cross. I am fairly certain he did not write this (from that same Jake Tapper sit-down):

“Now, the question that some have argued is okay what next? Maybe you stop the freefall but you still have close to 10 percent unemployment, and you know this is something that we wrestle with constantly. The more that we can do to stimulate the economy in the short term, the challenge we've got as everybody knows is that we inherited a big deficit, and it is at a certain point potentially counter productive if we're spending more money than we're having to borrow.”

I've read and re-read and am still clueless as to what he is getting at here. Can any of you Ivy Leaguers out there explain just what your fellow Ivy Leaguer is trying to say? (H/T – Jim Taranto’s July 9th BOTW in which he includes this as his deliciously titled “Bushism of the Day”)

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