[Guest post by DRJ]
Barack Obama met with his core economic advisers today in Florida and then announced he would refrain from offering his plan until Washington has time to formulate a bipartisan solution:
“Obama said the immediate need is to get the capital markets working properly again so the economy can continue to hum. But he resisted offering a detailed blueprint, saying he wanted to let officials at the Treasury Department, the Fed, and in Congress work on a bipartisan solution.”
Astonishing. Obama declines to talk about domestic issues to avoid interfering with Washington’s solution but he has no problem directly addressing America’s foreign affairs with Iraqi leaders, thereby violating the golden rule of American politics:
“By trying to second-guess the present administration in its negotiations with Iraq, Obama ignored a golden rule of American politics. I first learned about that rule from Senator Edward Kennedy more than 30 years ago. During a visit to Tehran, Kennedy received a few Iranian reporters for a poolside chat. The big question at the time was negotiations between Washington and Tehran about massive arms contracts. When we asked Kennedy what he thought of those negotiations, his answer was simple: He would not comment on negotiations between his government and a foreign power, especially when abroad. That, he said, was one of the golden rules of American politics.
A few years later, I spent a day with Ronald Reagan during his visit to Iran. I asked what he thought of the strategic arms limitation talks between the U.S. and the USSR. He echoed Kennedy’s golden rule: He would not comment on his government’s negotiations with a foreign power, especially when abroad.
A couple of years ago, I ran into that golden rule again. At a meeting with Senator Hillary Clinton in Washington, I asked what she thought of the Bush administration’s negotiations with the Iraqis concerning security cooperation. She said she would not second-guess the president and would wait for the outcome of the negotiations. In a statesmanlike manner, Senator Clinton reminded me of the golden rule—one that is common to all mature democracies where the opposition is loyal and constitutional.
Today, Senator Obama is the leader of a loyal opposition in the United States, not the chief of an insurrection or a revolutionary uprising. What we are witnessing in the U.S. is an election, not an insurrection or a coronation, even less a regime change.
Obama should not have discussed the government-to-government negotiations with the Iraqis. That he did, surprised the Iraqis no end. Raising the issue with them, especially the way he did, meant that he was telling them that he did not trust his own government. The Iraqis could not be blamed for wondering why they should trust a government that is not trusted by the leader of its own loyal opposition. (There was also no point in raising the matter, because Obama did not know the content of the negotiations.)”
Reticent at home, outspoken abroad. Obama proves again he is a citizen of the world.
UPDATE: ABC’s Jake Tapper reports Bush Administration officials and Senators Reed and Hagel support Obama’s denials regarding the Iraqi story. Allahpundit at Hot Air tries to untangle the conflicting stories.