Who Will Be the GOP's Grownup on Foreign Policy in 2016?
Babbin, Jed, Examiner (Washington, D.C.), The
Vladimir Putin has a portrait of Peter the Great prominently displayed in his office. Peter, a 17th century "czar of all the Russias," is best remembered - at least by Putin - for having made Russia an empire by military conquest.
In the Oval Office, before President Obama sent it back, there was a bust of Winston Churchill. Now, the only counterpoint in the president's office to Putin's portrait of his favorite czar is probably the "selfie" the Danish prime minister took of herself and Obama at Nelson Mandela's funeral.
The benchmark of the Obama administration's foreign policy has been ineptitude. It is comprised of the rejection of allies, the embrace of adversaries and the failure to give the most important crises the most urgent attention.
There is an underlying narcissism and immaturity that gave rise to it all. Instead of dazzling the Queen of England with his understanding of world affairs, Obama presented her with an iPod containing some of his speeches. When then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton presented Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov with a toy "reset" button to illustrate the supposed resetting of the two nations' relationship, it had the wrong Russian word on it. Instead of "reset," it said "overcharge." That was long before former National Security Council spokesman Tommy Vietor, in answering a Brett Baier question on Benghazi, said, "Dude, that was, like, two years ago."
In an equally risible example, last week first lady Michelle Obama made a plea to rescue the 276 Nigerian schoolgirls kidnapped by the Islamic terrorists of Boko Haram. She posed with a "#BringBackOurGirls" sign which is as significant an act as the latest Tweet from Jennifer Lopez.
But, dudes, this week there's important stuff going on. While Iran is negotiating the key terms to continue its nuclear weapons program "limitations" with the P5+1 group in Vienna, Secretary of State John Kerry is spending two days in London meetings with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas to resurrect his failed peace negotiations despite Abbas's reconciliation with the terrorists of Hamas. …