Patterico's Pontifications

9/21/2009

Obama: I, sir, am no Jack Kennedy

Filed under: General — Karl @ 7:44 pm



[Posted by Karl]

Another nugget from Pres. Obama’s Sunday chat with ABC’s George Stephanopoulos, this time on foreign policy:

JFK famously got his clock cleaned by Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev at their June 1961 summit meeting in Vienna.

He knew it too. Right after the meeting he confided to NYT columnist Scotty Reston that it was one of the “roughest” moments of his life. “He just beat the hell out of me,” Kennedy admitted.

So I asked President Obama if there were any similar moments over the last eight months where he took a step back and told himself: “Man, I need to step up my game.”

Here’s what he said:

OBAMA: You know, it’s an interesting question. I — I mean I don’t mean to be immodest here, but I don’t think I’ve had that moment with a — with a world leader, where I said gee, you know — you know, we’ve got to really tighten things up.

However, here is the Washington Post account of the Obama foreign policy to date:

European nations have refused to send significant numbers of new troops to aid the U.S.-led war effort in Afghanistan. Few countries have agreed to accept detainees held at the U.S. military prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. Scottish officials ignored Obama’s plea to keep the Lockerbie bomber in prison, and U.S. efforts to head off a coup in Honduras were ineffective. North Korea continues to develop nuclear weapons, Iran may be doing so, and Middle East leaders have rebuffed Obama’s efforts at peacemaking.

It is nice that the WaPo has noted this, though the failure of Pres. Obama’s “soft power” approach has been apparent for some time already. Despite the prospect of arms races in Asia and the Middle East, Obama remains bent on appeasing Russia and Iran, with unilateral nuclear disarmament plans so extreme that even the French are objecting.

I cheerfully admit that I did not know Jack Kennedy. Jack Kennedy was not a friend of mine. But Jack Kennedy understood who our allies were, and what our national interests were. And Jack Kennedy understood when he got his clock cleaned by an adversary. When it comes to self-awareness, I am compelled to agree with Pres. Obama: he is no Jack Kennedy.

Update: It’s Almost Like the Russians Smell Weakness or Something.

Update x2: Ed Morrissey notes that The New York Times now has an assessment like that of the WaPo.

–Karl

36 Responses to “Obama: I, sir, am no Jack Kennedy”

  1. “Epic Fail in progress….. film at eleven!”

    to all you fools who voted for Ear Leader: “I TOLD YOU SO!”

    redc1c4 (fb8750)

  2. Well… for real he meant to do all that stuff. The little president man is an angry little president man, and a marxist adolescent what hates our little country’s place in the world and fondly wishes nothing better than for our little country to eat shit and for Russia and Venezuela and Iran to be the ones what feed it to us.

    That’s my feel.

    happyfeet (6b707a)

  3. I thought noted foreign policy genius Joe Biden was brought on board to shore up Obama’s weakness in foreign affairs. Perhaps that is adding to the problems, but probably not, he’s been kept on a pretty tight leash.

    daleyrocks (718861)

  4. “JFK famously got his clock cleaned by Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev at their June 1961 summit meeting in Vienna.”

    Yeah, but at leat Kennedy was TRYING to stand up to a hostile power.

    Not an issue for the New Messiah, ’cause all he does is crawl on his belly to hostile powers. Hell, he’ll run across the room to kiss up to that prick Hugo Chavez. Obama is the biggest ass-kisser in U.S. history. He makes Jimmy Carter look like Winston Churchill.

    He is pretty tough when it comes to friendly nations like Honduras or Israel though.

    Dave Surls (c13af3)

  5. They’re the only ones he isn’t afraid might hurt him if he annoys them.

    Machinist (79b3ab)

  6. MACHINIST !!!!!

    JD (abe6ab)

  7. Good evening, JD.

    Machinist (79b3ab)

  8. Way too long …

    JD (abe6ab)

  9. Meanwhile, Zbiggy suggests we shoot down Israeli planes if they try to attack Iran.

    That Carter Administration is the gift that keeps giving.

    daleyrocks (718861)

  10. I think liberals are as reluctant to use the military as they are guns. Maybe it scares them or maybe they are prone to pacifism. It’s a good thing to be leery of lethal weapons but a President has no choice but to consider, and sometimes use, lethal force.

    DRJ (b008f8)

  11. I must respectfully disagree, Ma’am. They have seemed quite willing to use them against Americans, just not our enemies.

    Machinist (79b3ab)

  12. DRJ, the Left may not like guns very much but they surely do like to tell other people what to do and think. All the while saying that it is the Right that does these things.

    As for the Prez, well, he is an empty suit full of a blustering wind of entitlement. And the funny part is that I am sure he believes what he said. While at the same time, I’ll bet cash money he was critical of GW Bush for not wanting to admit he was wrong about anything.

    Because that is different.

    And world leaders are snickering. And they should.

    Hey, my Progressive Leftist pals? Tell me again how this guy is better than HRC? I mean, for your goals?

    Eric Blair (184ac1)

  13. Used to be you didn’t have to use the military and could still use the military very very effectively.

    happyfeet (6b707a)

  14. #14,

    That only works if you have some credibility.

    Machinist (79b3ab)

  15. Hmmm…

    “… I — I mean I don’t mean to be immodest here, but I don’t think I’ve had that moment with a — with a world leader, where I said gee, you know — you know, we’ve got to really tighten things up….”

    No, not immodest at all. And we’ll see how Iran plays out, nuclear wise.

    But even then, this guy will just say he handled things just right. And it was Bush’s fault anyway. Darn blogs.

    I would normally say that his legion of Lefty water carriers will sooth his brow with reassurances of his excellence…but I honestly think that there will be a challenge in 2012.

    And speaking of “tightening things up,” the man had better get moving.

    I think we just call him Vanity Smurf and be done with it. Except JD would find that racist against blue cartoon characters.

    Eric Blair (184ac1)

  16. When it comes to self-awareness, I am compelled to agree with Pres. Obama: he is no Jack Kennedy.

    As someone wisely pointed out, a man’s gotta know his limitations. I don’t think our president hasn’t yet discovered his. The sooner her does, the better. And hopefully it won’t come at an enormous cost to this country.

    Dana (863a65)

  17. Sounds worse than Bush did on the “mistakes” question.

    Kevin Murphy (3c3db0)

  18. Eh… The sooner her he does

    Dana (863a65)

  19. I really, really hate to say this, but he has someone in his Cabinet that has at least a little foreign policy experience if by nothing else than osmosis.

    And, although I disagree with her on almost everything, she’s not stupid. And her husband used to be President.

    What happened to her anyway?

    The Secretary of State is there for a reason. And he won’t even let her out of the garage.

    Axelrod and Emmanuel can’t do everything.

    Also, why aren’t Carvile and Stephanapolous and Begala screaming about this? George kind of made a feint with his question on health care and taxes, but backed off real quick.

    You can have your ACORN and NEA controversies, and they indeed matter.

    But, when the Clintons, and their minions stop speaking, I start to get a little worried.

    Something is going on.

    Ag80 (592691)

  20. I mean I don’t mean to be immodest here

    Whoa, a ton of hubris.

    There’s the saying: “Pride goeth before a fall.”

    I just hope the guy in the White House doesn’t take America down with him.

    Mark (411533)

  21. I, too, am glad the Wapo is at least bringing up the subject, except for this part…
    and U.S. efforts to head off a coup in Honduras were ineffective
    There was no coup, and to keep repeating that lie will not make it true. They just can’t help themselves.

    Gazzer (22ecdc)

  22. This is kind of off-topic but it seems to me someone must have leaked the McChrystal Afghanistan report to the Washington Post. And the Post ran with it. If so, that’s not a sign of confidence by the WaPo or the military and it must worry the Administration.

    DRJ (b008f8)

  23. “I mean I don’t mean to be immodest here”

    I heard, “America may not be exceptional, but I certainly am.”

    h/t Maureen Dowd

    daleyrocks (718861)

  24. Dana #17… Just for you:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=imCzx-bqrY4

    Of course, I don’t want anyone to get hurt. I want politicians to be prudent and thoughtful and humble.

    The position is larger than the person in it. I’m not sure every President believes that.

    Eric Blair (184ac1)

  25. “I think liberals are as reluctant to use the military as they are guns. Maybe it scares them or maybe they are prone to pacifism.”

    It’s because they got their little pug noses bloodied in Vietnam, which caused them to lose the presidency in 1968, and they’ve been gun shy ever since. It has nothing to do with pacifism and everything to do with fear of getting voted out of power.

    Between 1917 and 1960 the libby wibbies got the United States into four overseas bloody wars, at the cost of over 600,000 dead Americans. Way over 90% of Americans killed in wars over the last 100 years were killed in wars the peace-loving liberals got us into.

    Don’t kid yourselves, there is nothing pacifistic about liberals.

    Dave Surls (c13af3)

  26. daley…don’t you mean that you heard:

    “I don’t mean to be immodest here…cracka.”?

    I mean, if we are going to be hearing all kinds of code everywhere?

    Eric Blair (184ac1)

  27. DRJ:

    I don’t think it’s off-topic.

    I’m not going to diminish the importance of effective government or the reputations of elected officials.

    Except, I am for a few lines of type.

    There are “Democrats” and “Republicans.” They exist to get their party representatives elected to office.

    Then, there are “liberals” and “conservatives.” They exist to get the people elected who most align with their values. Feel free to add others as necessary.

    Then you have, for want of a better word, “players.” They align themselves with whatever camp — according to their “values” — it takes to be elected.

    Because their game isn’t who is right or left, or right or wrong. Their game is to win.

    The end result, for both left and right, is power and money.

    And, then, the worm turns for both parties.

    I’ll spare you my psychoanalytical reason for an another time.

    Ag80 (592691)

  28. Ag80, good point. Van Jones was a player. After trying many avenues to get his foot in the door, he discovered that being “green” was the new “red” and he went for it with gusto. He would have gotten away with it too, if it hadn’t been for those darn kids…

    Gazzer (22ecdc)

  29. All Ur Code Wrds R Defined By Us

    The Librulz

    Eric – I think that’s what you had in mind. Your version is certainly closer to La Dowd’s.

    daleyrocks (718861)

  30. Did you notice how O’s face turned a bit…sour at that question? “I have a gift, dammnit!”

    Re Van Jones, he went green for the same reason Dillinger robbed banks: that’s where the money is.

    Patricia (c95a48)

  31. Obama’s Great Intellect…

    (on the primary trail)
    I’ve been to 57 states so far and I have one more to go . . .
    (laughter)
    *chuckles* My staff won’t let me visit Hawai’i or Alaska.
    (in Europe, at “town hall” meeting)
    I don’t know how to speak …

    Truth Before Dishonor (fb05f5)

  32. The Russians would have to have a severe cold indeed not to smell current American weakness. We are not just weak. We are pathetic.

    Like a prize fighter drunk in a bar.

    Amphipolis (b120ce)

  33. And he won’t even let her out of the garage.

    Not true – Hillary! was sent to a tour of African countries while her husband was doing the important work of releasing a prisoner from NK.

    Something is going on.

    I agree – Hillary! is going to take him on in the next Primary. Nobody smells blood in the water better than the Clintons.

    Dmac (a93b13)

  34. Obama isn’t any kind of JFK until he starts diddling Hollywood starlets. I wonder who would snap his pencil neck first, the girl’s husband or Michelle?

    PCD (1d8b6d)

  35. He really is clueless about his weaknesses. It will be the reason he’ll be noted as a failed President by history.

    SPQR (26be8b)


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