Obama will probably have to hit the links again to settle his nerves. (Has it been 250 rounds yet, Mr. President?) He has, after all, had a hard time of it lately. He’s getting it from all sides now. Even from the people who are supposed to like him.
There was that unpleasantness at 60 Minutes where he had accidental exposure to a real, live journalist. He actually asked questions. Hard ones. About his record.
That must have been exhausting, the poor lamb. It was a new experience, after all. But now, he’s getting hit from both sides. Vladimir Putin and Fox News are hitting him where it hurts most: his ego.
For a guy so consistently desperate for the positive attention of celebrities and world leaders, one who bends over backwards to be acknowledged as a “citizen of the world” (Germany, 2008), and who defers often to the abstraction of “global community”, this must be a devastating blow.
Fox hates him, no surprise there. But who cares? Aren’t they just mouth-breathers too dense to appreciate his nuanced and sophisticated leadership style? So they say. But now there is a convergence. Putin, Fox polls, and an actual journalist have ALL called him a bad leader.
Scratch that. They have called him incompetent. “Mush-for-brains” was Putin’s actual phrase.
That fits with the opinion polls in which 52% call Obama’s foreign policy “weak and indecisive”, and only 20% think Obama has a clear strategy in the Syrian conflict, in which 61% believe “national security interests are at stake”
That same poll of American citizens has almost half of them describing the former KGB officer as strong and shrewd, and three quarters think he holds the upper hand on this foreign policy file. Sad.
More sad was Obama’s puerile defense when 60 Minutes challenged him. He criticized Putin as weak and desperate. Putin running Russia’s economy “into the ground” over this is “not what [he’d] call leadership”. (Stop for a second, and appreciate the economic “leadership” irony.)
Is Putin just trash-talking? Or were his comments based on evidence?
Well, there was the small matter of Russia trying to coordinate their attacks with Americans, Identifying friend and foe. Let’s place the Mush-For-Brains quote in it’s context:
“the Russian government had asked for the coordinates of the groups that should or should not be attacked, the United States had not responded to either request.” “Recently, we have offered the Americans: ‘Give us objects that we shouldn’t target.’ Again, no answer,” he said. “It seems to me that some of our partners have mush for brains.”
Mush? How polite, compared to what many Americans have speculated.