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The Most Important Number in Politics



President Obama 's presser had a heavy focus on Iran. AP Photo/Ron Edmonds

6

At President Obama's press conference today, six of the 13 total questions he took -- including five of the first seven -- were focused on Iran and whether or not he had been forceful enough in condemning the crackdown on protesters in the wake of the country's election.

And, in his opening statement -- always the most important part of a press conference -- the president led off by noting that he was "appalled" by the recent actions in Iran and that the world was "bearing witness" to uprising in the country.

Despite the series of Iran questions, Obama didn't move off of his initial statements or his actions -- insisting repeatedly that he had been "entirely consistent" in his statements about the Iranian elections and laughing off, literally, the suggestions that Republican suggestions -- from the likes of Sens. John McCain (Ariz.) and Lindsey Graham (S.C.) -- had influenced his attitude toward the country.

The number of Iran questions the president fielded, however, suggests that the issue has -- or is about to -- reach critical mass in terms of press attention, a development that could well force the White House to go further than they have been willing to just yet on the issue.

Obama's struggle on how far he can or should go on Iran is the perfect example of the difference between being any elected official and being the president. While McCain or Graham gets attention stateside when they condemn the election results, only Obama has real power to move public opinion in foreign countries in an immediate and substantial way.

"All of us share a belief that we want justice to prevail," said Obama. "But only I am the president of the United States."

True. But, from a purely political perspective, the dichotomy between being president and being just another elected official has the very real potential of making Obama look insufficiently engaged on Iran.

By Chris Cillizza  |  June 23, 2009; 2:13 PM ET
Categories:  White House  
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Comments

He can't do that, it will screw up all my arrangements.

We know that, Sal!

Tell Mike, I alway's liked him.

Tom, can you get me off the hook for hold times sake?

Can't do it, Sal!

Posted by: opp88 | June 24, 2009 3:44 PM | Report abuse

Chris,
You forgot to mention tellie prompters, haw haw, WHERE"S THE BIRF CERTIFICATE!!!11!!1 Then this would be the greatest article ever written much like Dana Milbank is the greatest comedian of our time.

Posted by: BlahBlahBlah314 | June 24, 2009 3:27 PM | Report abuse

This is some of the dumbest analysis I've ever read. How does the POTUS help a political movement in a country that has a motto of "Death to America"? The only way he can, keep his mouth shut until his words can no longer be used to do harm. Also, do you expect him to detail clandestine operations to the press? Why do you act like McCain and Graham's statements are anything but political opportunism?

Posted by: BlahBlahBlah314 | June 24, 2009 3:22 PM | Report abuse

This is some of the dumbest analysis I've ever read. How does the POTUS help a political movement in a country that has a motto of "Death to America"? The only way he can, keep his mouth shut until his words can no longer be used to do harm. Also, do you expect him to detail clandestine operations to the press? Why do you act like McCain and Graham's statements are anything but political opportunism?

Posted by: BlahBlahBlah314 | June 24, 2009 3:22 PM | Report abuse

I assume military recruiting offices in the D.C. area are crowded with Neocons/Republicans and members of the Washington press corps clamoring to enlist so they can personally liberate Iran. Right?
.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gFGit_tZDqs
.

Posted by: DrainYou | June 24, 2009 3:20 AM | Report abuse

The only difference between Iran and Minnesota is their methods. In Iran they use guns to deprive the citizen of real representation and in Minnesota a bunch of republicans are using the Courts to do the same thing. The results are the same. Just the methods are different. You have to admire the citizen of Iran, they go out on the streets to protest. Wish they do the same in Minnesota but than, no guts no glory.

Posted by: Opa2 | June 24, 2009 2:14 AM | Report abuse

Since they took away his teleprompter, he had to get the questions in advance or he'd just be standing there with that stupid look on his face that he gets right before he starts to stutter.

Posted by: tdl62 | June 23, 2009 9:09 PM | Report abuse

"A couple of surprising words were missing from President Barack Obama’s 55-minute news conference on Wednesday: “Iraq” — and “Afghanistan.”

The liberal's silence of these wars prove how weak the principles of Obama's liberal followers really are....They like to complain for the sake of complaining except when it is their boy in office...."If you don't stand for something, you will fall for anything," and Obama has you hypnotized and mesmerized by his BS....

Posted by: tdl62 | June 23, 2009 9:07 PM | Report abuse

Obama called on the Huffington Post's Nico Pitney near the start of his press conference and requested a question directly about Iran.

Reporters typically don’t coordinate their questions for the president before press conferences, so it seemed odd that Obama might have an idea what the question would be. Also, it was a departure from White House protocol by calling on The Huffington Post second, in between the AP and Reuters.

CBS Radio's Mark Knoller, a veteran White House correspondent, said over Twitter it was "very unusual that Obama called on Huffington Post second, appearing to know the issue the reporter would ask about."

According to POLITICO's Carol Lee, The Huffington Post reporter was brought out of lower press by deputy press secretary Josh Earnest and placed just inside the barricade for reporters a few minutes before the start of the press conference.

Sounds like Obama has something in common with Iran, He knows how to control the media.......

Posted by: tdl62 | June 23, 2009 9:05 PM | Report abuse

SOmehow, I can't imagine Ronald Reagan voting present. I can't imagine John McCain voting present. I can't imagine Sarah Palin voting present; but I can imagine a poll driven Democrat voting present until he/she figures out which way the wind is blowing.

==

You think in cartoon-simple caricatures

Posted by: chrisfox8 | June 23, 2009 8:44 PM | Report abuse

Americans have just witnessed 8 years of the elected Republicans in Congress attempting to twist themselves into rhetorical pretzels, explaining and rationalising every decision (most of them appaling) by former President George W. Bush (the one exception being the immigration issue where, for once, Bush had the right idea and his party shot him down--along with shooting themselves in the foot, incidentally).

Now they are, MOST irresponsibly, telling President Obama that he should 'blow up' the carefully wrought messages of reengagement with Iran which he has been sending out. Despite his unmistakeable condemnation of the bloodshed, violence, and speciousness of, at least, the margins of the so-called Ahmadinejad victory, Obama is being criticised as 'too timid'. You've had the opposite (viz., the 'hotheaded' Bush Administration vs. Sadaam Hussein), which has bankrupted this country and lowered its credibility in the world to near-negligiblity.

Obama hasn't the luxury of grabbing a torch and waving it as he rushes along, willy-nilly, hanging onto the coattails of Sens. McCain, Graham, et. al. He IS THE PRESIDENT, and he needs to take a strategic world view on this, much to the disappointment of all the yahoos out there. If you'd wanted another John Wayne, black & white, my way or the highway type, why didn't you all elect Chuck Norris?

Posted by: sverigegrabb | June 23, 2009 7:50 PM | Report abuse

It's easy to talk HARD BALL when all you have is a softball bat in your hand mr. conservatives.

Posted by: opp88 | June 23, 2009 7:46 PM | Report abuse

2009 Republican Leaders continue to ill-advise President Barack Obama on domestic and foreign issue's.

John Boehner, Lindsey Graham, John McCain, Eric Cantor? Health Care, Energy, Unemployement, North Korea, Iraq, Afghanistan, Iran all none substance rhetoric.

Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., ignored questions about Ensign, who stepped down last week as chairman of the Republican Policy Committee.

Sen. Johnny Isakson, a Georgia Republican and vice chairman of the Ethics Committee, said he couldn't discuss any potential investigation.

Groups Want Ethics Probe of Ensign Affair

And still can't take care of their own home business.

Posted by: opp88 | June 23, 2009 7:25 PM | Report abuse

Until Rebubs. put the same focus on the election in MN, that they have on Iraq, I don't want to hear from them. MN is a democracy and yet the people of MN still are short one voice in the Senate

Posted by: rlj1 | June 23, 2009 6:37 PM | Report abuse

I'm sorry, the difference is between someone who has convictions (Ronald Reagan comes to mind) and someone who votes present so no one knows where he stands.

SOmehow, I can't imagine Ronald Reagan voting present. I can't imagine John McCain voting present. I can't imagine Sarah Palin voting present; but I can imagine a poll driven Democrat voting present until he/she figures out which way the wind is blowing.

Posted by: bflat879 | June 23, 2009 6:23 PM | Report abuse

At the end of "The Most Important Number in Politics" you write: "from a purely political perspective, the dichotomy between being president and being just another elected official has the very real potential of making Obama look insufficiently engaged on Iran." Why doesn't it have an equal or greater potential of making McCain and others look insufficiently thoughtful, balanced, responsible, etc. on Iran?

Posted by: mbfdl | June 23, 2009 5:36 PM | Report abuse

I thought Obama was only president of the United States, not the world, although certain arrogant presidents have thought otherwise. To suggest he can strongly influence public opinion in other countries seems dubious.

Obama has been unduly sensitive to criticisms from conservatives and Republicans, excessively deferential toward them in many of his flip flops so far. This is evident in his willingness to weaken a health care "reform" bill to win Republican votes, being increasingly hostile, critical rhetoric toward the Iranian government, not prosecuting war crimes by some in the Bush administration, maintaining the state secrets line of reasoning of the previous administration, reversing his promises of transparency in government, etc.

The neo-cons and Republicans are seeking temporary partisan advantage in criticizing Obama on his reaction to protests in Iran.
They seek to advance the militaristic, neo-imperialistic neo-con agenda more than spreading "democracy" and "freedom" to other countries. Neo-cons, as well as many Democrats in Congress, have supported Israel using stronger force against Palestinians, in Lebanon and Gaza, than the Iranian government so far has against protesters. Obama is very unlikely to criticize any future repressive and/or aggressive actions by Israel or for its system of apartheid in the West Bank, which if it occurs will be somewhat ironic for our first African-American president.

Posted by: Aprogressiveindependent | June 23, 2009 5:36 PM | Report abuse

DO AMERICANS REALLY CARE ABOUT CIVIL RIGHT IN IRAN ?
OR JUST INTERRESTED TO MAKE IRAN BREAK UP ?
OBAMA SAID IN CAIRO THAT US HAS "UNBREAKABLE BOND" WITH ISRAEL AND,
ISRAEL SAYS IRAN IS A THREAT TO ITS EXISTANCE !

Posted by: imellee23 | June 23, 2009 5:21 PM | Report abuse

Republicans once again demonstrate the vapidity of a policy based on "the opposite of whatever he says."

Too bad the press buys into it, every time, no matter how dumb the "conflict" is. Most Important Number, indeed. How about the number of former Republican Secretaries of State who approve of Obama's approach? That would be a number to note.

Posted by: nodebris | June 23, 2009 5:12 PM | Report abuse

The Principle of Mathematical Induction and the Domino Theory:

Mathematical Induction:

Firstly, for any mathematical relationship which may be dealt with by equations where coefficients and/or exponents are strictly integers, then, IFF one is in the set of integers used in the equation, and IFF, K being an integer in the set of integers, K+1 is in the set of integers, the relationship is proved.

he domino theory: if conditions of stored dominoes are properly conducive, knocking one domino down in the effective direction will cause all of the dominoes so stored to fall over.

The Bush Domino scenario wrt the Middle east: If we get Iraq to become a Democracy, that will lead to democracy breaking out all over the Near East.

Is one in the set? Not that anyone anyone can believe can prove.

Ergo, NO Domino Effect in the near East.

I won't bother to show that K being in the set does NOT imply that K+1 is in the set, I will leave that to the students of this blog.

Posted by: ceflynline | June 23, 2009 5:02 PM | Report abuse

Mc Cain would of course be worse than Bush, but only because placing him would have been unconstitutional...just like placing slick, who is also worse than Bush.

Posted by: dottydo

==

I wasn't talking to you and I really don't care to hear from you either.

Posted by: chrisfox8 | June 23, 2009 5:02 PM | Report abuse

dottydo writes
"The arrogance of slick, to respond ...I am the President... was appalling."


It would have been much more tolerable had he said "I'm the decider."


.

Posted by: bsimon1 | June 23, 2009 4:58 PM | Report abuse

2000 McCain was far better than 2008 McCain.

==

I didn't overlook this the first time, but where you say "better" I would just say "smoother."

Would the McCain of 2000 made such a wantonly irresponsible choice for VP? Insufficient data. But from all I've read, McCain is a megalomaniac who won't back down when he should back down, and just as the Bush presidency ended up being a projection of a short man's insecurity about his height, McCain's would have been a projection of his monstrous ego.

And he may have lost some sort of ground in those eight years but hey, it's the same man in that body and in that head all the time. The guy who thought he could balance the budget by cutting "earmarks!" was the same man, and I don't think he had a stroke or anything in between.

I say we dodged a bullet, only to take another.

Posted by: chrisfox8 | June 23, 2009 4:58 PM | Report abuse

I note, and intend to continue to do so, that there is no sentiment in any of these posts for the national sacrifice that would be required were the President to give in to the demands of the speak now and regret it later Republican leadership.

The demand for some sort of posturing comes, of course, from the all talk mindset of the Republican Party. There is no problem so complex that some Republican won't think he can solve it with insincere words that he has no intention of covering with action. Like GHW Bush wanting to be "Known as the education president." By his actions he made it clear that he wasn't willing to get that reputation by spending money, or pushing legislation, that might have seriously enabled education in this country.

But of course, all any republican President has to do is declaim upon some subject of great import and the issue will naturally be resolved. My initial estimate of the costs of Barack jawboning Iran is $10 trillion to pay for the forces required and 50,000 dead and twenty times that permanently maimed when the jawboning brings on actual war.

It just ain't worth it to satisfy this bunch of yahoos, and they wouldn't be satisfied anyway.

Posted by: ceflynline | June 23, 2009 4:49 PM | Report abuse

chrisfox8,
Mc Cain would of course be worse than Bush, but only because placing him would have been unconstitutional...just like placing slick, who is also worse than Bush.

Posted by: dottydo | June 23, 2009 4:48 PM | Report abuse

The arrogance of slick, to respond ...I am the President... was appalling.
Congress and the American people stand with the Iranian people for demand of a government they want, and not one where Mickey and Minnie and the Acorns steal the power from them.
Slick can do what he wants, but he is only proving he is irrelavent and moot to Americans.

Posted by: dottydo | June 23, 2009 4:45 PM | Report abuse

Cmon now, let's not have short memories. McCain would most likely not have initiated a war in Iraq, and wouldn't have gone as overboard with the tax cuts as Bush did. 2000 McCain was far better than 2008 McCain.

==

I think you're wrong on all counts here. I think McCain would have been a lot worse than Bush, because while Bush is ineffectual, McCain is dogged. He would have gotten us into numerous wars and refused to believe we're not up to it because when it comes to "the troops" McCain is purely emotional.

I think he would have found some excuse to do something to Viet Nam in revenge for his captivity, I think, given his TOTAL daffiness on earmarks he would have tanked the economy years sooner, and given his completely immature behavior in the debates I really don't think he would have been anything but a worse version of Bush, with W and Cheney rolled together in one body.

Posted by: chrisfox8 | June 23, 2009 4:45 PM | Report abuse

The Republican bluster is all bombast and BS. It's posturing, pure and simple so your chest thumping base can feel good. It's REALLY easy to look tough when your words won't get anyone killed. Unfortunately, that same bellicose rhetoric from Obama would have precisely that effect, and is therefore exactly what he ought not to do. In point of fact, saber rattling for its own sake is a reflection of weakness, not strength. We have a long, and lamented, interventionist history in Iran--a history that we forget or conveniently gloss over, and of which they are well aware nor inclined to dismiss.

And to the point of demanding recounts or new elections, spare me the phony outrage. What if some country had suggested those actions in the wake of our own electoral irregularities in 200 and 2004? The same Republican and conservative babblers would be saying just the opposite, and with the same hypocrisy. Like it or not, this is purely an Iranian matter,; they are a sovereign state . While we CAN give moral support, there is damn little we can do practically. Republicans keep forgetting that bullets and bloviating aren't the seeds of democracy.

Posted by: bklyndan22 | June 23, 2009 4:33 PM | Report abuse

"I supported McCain in 2000 and he has proven time and again for the past year he was not fit to be president. After the past year I am certain the nation dodged a bullet when he lost the nomination in 2000. "

Cmon now, let's not have short memories. McCain would most likely not have initiated a war in Iraq, and wouldn't have gone as overboard with the tax cuts as Bush did. 2000 McCain was far better than 2008 McCain.

And don't you guys remember who DID become president?

Posted by: DDAWD | June 23, 2009 4:33 PM | Report abuse

bradcpa writes
"I am certain the nation dodged a bullet when he lost the nomination in 2000."

It might've missed the vitals, but I'm not convinced it entirely missed.

Posted by: bsimon1 | June 23, 2009 4:20 PM | Report abuse

Yes, Obama is the only President of the United States and he has already proven to be the worst in American history, and we've had some very bad Presidents.

Posted by: Jerzy | June 23, 2009 4:15 PM | Report abuse

Obama is doing the right thing to not bend in favor of the terrorists. As President he'd prefer to deal with the religious/military dictatorship, not a bunch of rabble.

Posted by: llrllr | June 23, 2009 4:13 PM | Report abuse

My pride as an American gets larger every time Obama speaks. He shows a command of the facts. He exercising his power based upon excellent judgment. I supported McCain in 2000 and he has proven time and again for the past year he was not fit to be president. After the past year I am certain the nation dodged a bullet when he lost the nomination in 2000.

Posted by: bradcpa | June 23, 2009 3:58 PM | Report abuse


I don't understand why so many Republicans think it's patriotic to give Democrats bad advice just so the GOP can experience political gain later.

What is wrong with you people? Why do you hate this country so much?

Posted by: tony_in_Durham_NC | June 23, 2009 3:54 PM | Report abuse

Obama said McCain was "passionate" about the matter, meaning Obama dismissed McCain as just a senile old man, which of course McCain is, but that has nothing to do with the rightness or wrongness of McCain's position. Obama dismisses McCain the same way he dismisses the rest of freedom-loving, patriotic Americans - just a bunch of "passionate" fools. They should instead be "hip" and "cool", like he is, and DISCARD FOOLISH SENTIMENTS AND BELIEFS, just like he said in his inauguration speech.

Posted by: chatard | June 23, 2009 3:46 PM | Report abuse

Someone else mentioned, and I agree, Obama's best comment was along the lines of "this is an issue of national security," in essence he can't let short term political gain and backstabbing get in the way of sane long term policy for the US.

All of this, and the "dominoes fall" comment, made me think of my Dad, who would talk to me of such things when I was a child (yeah, he did) and say, well, if Central America goes, or, I don't know, maybe Canada goes,(OK, he was speaking of Vietnam, the idea of Canada going Commie just strikes me as funny -- though it is close to Russia),the US will be surrounded by "the Reds".

Conversely, TRUE US diplomatic progress in the ME, toward the people rather than the despots, must be equally as threatening to the Russians and the Chinese...

Posted by: thegreatpotatospamof2003 | June 23, 2009 3:45 PM | Report abuse

The headline SHOULD be "Reporters QUESTION Focus on Iran." America should focus on healthcare, green energy, job creation FOR AMERICANS. Put America first, not the big corporations, greedy for more profits made by shedding American blood (and the blood of whomever is the current target).

Posted by: dotellen | June 23, 2009 3:44 PM | Report abuse


This was a disappointing post that seemed to only buy into the Beltway and ignore what most Americans think, which is stay out of Iran.

Advice from the folks who brought us the Iraq War should be met with more skepticism than shown here and else at the Post.

http://moonshinepatriot.blogspot.com/2009/06/obama-press-conference-june-23-2009.html

Posted by: tony_in_Durham_NC | June 23, 2009 3:36 PM | Report abuse

All anyone who thinks that the President should "Do More" WRT Iran is displaying their ignorance of the history of the Iranian government and the US's involvement therein.

==

Or maybe they know all about the Shah and the 1953 overthrow but still think that we can do anything we want by applying enough force. Don't forget what sort of people are still loyal Republicans, the kind who can't learn.

Posted by: chrisfox8 | June 23, 2009 3:36 PM | Report abuse

All anyone who thinks that the President should "Do More" WRT Iran is displaying their ignorance of the history of the Iranian government and the US's involvement therein.

Posted by: VTDuffman | June 23, 2009 3:33 PM | Report abuse

jessied44 writes
"Only economic pressure against Iran would be effective. Is the world in the current economic climate ready for a doubling or tripling of fuel costs? Are we ready to support outrage with our pocket books?"


That may not be very easy to accomplish. To shut off Iran's oil revenue you have to convince not just Europe to stop buying, but Russia & China as well. Good luck with that.

Posted by: bsimon1 | June 23, 2009 3:23 PM | Report abuse

"Well we don't see a lot of outrage at squandering a few trillion dollars and a few thousand lives to transform Iraq from a secular dictatorship to a Shiite client of Iran, do we?"

The war paid for itself. All George Bush had to do was lower taxes and the money just came pouring into the government!

Posted by: DDAWD | June 23, 2009 3:20 PM | Report abuse

The trigger-happy crowd always wants us to wade in and shoot the place up, or at least economica bullying or loud shouting or something. This policy has worked so well for us in South East Asia, South America, Africa and Eastern Europe.

The Iranians have to do this themselves. It has to come from them or it has no credibility.

Posted by: margaretmeyers | June 23, 2009 3:20 PM | Report abuse

Only economic pressure against Iran would be effective. Is the world in the current economic climate ready for a doubling or tripling of fuel costs? Are we ready to support outrage with our pocket books?

Posted by: jessied44

==

Well we don't see a lot of outrage at squandering a few trillion dollars and a few thousand lives to transform Iraq from a secular dictatorship to a Shiite client of Iran, do we?

Posted by: chrisfox8 | June 23, 2009 3:14 PM | Report abuse

Only economic pressure against Iran would be effective. Is the world in the current economic climate ready for a doubling or tripling of fuel costs? Are we ready to support outrage with our pocket books?

Posted by: jessied44 | June 23, 2009 3:09 PM | Report abuse

Its nonsense to believe that Obama's words on Iran have any significance except ministering to the momentary emotional needs of Americans. Of course, we are against killing unarmed protestors and for democratic election processes. But words rarely have much signficance on their own. Real consequences depend on having some favor to withdraw that is in some proportion to the act. We have long since shown our displeasure with Iran by withdrawing all those favors. On the other hand, it is clear that Obama will not be able to move forward with any kind of constructive improvement in our relations with Iran as long as that effort might be seen to be favoring Ahmidinejad in a situation where his hold on power is in doubt. But, should Ahmidinejad manage to reestablish his authority and be ready to move away from nuclear weapons and Iranian sponsorship of terrorism, Obama is not likely to let the very unfortuanate recent events stop him from encouraging that direction.

Posted by: dnjake | June 23, 2009 2:58 PM | Report abuse

Even John Bolton doesn't think Obama should intervene! Even the neocons are divided on this one it's so pathetically easy to figure out. Except for the Beltway Bubbleheads, the journalamism cocktail weenies who flock together at their little parties and then all write the same chuckle-headed crap the next day.

Posted by: drindl | June 23, 2009 2:54 PM | Report abuse

Obama has a far higher responsibility than anyone else. It is easy to carp when the words you say are genenerally irrelevant. For those crying out for more aggressive talk and action by Obama, please recall the disaster of the words and actions of our last president. Nearly every rational person realized that the "cowboy" Bush was an international embarrasment.

However, this does not stop the belicose Republicans and neo-cons from trying to score points at the expense of sane policy.

They are always looking to sound tough and trying to create international hostilities when such things have been shown to be totally discreditied. But, itelligent thought never did get in the way of these bombastic idiots. Nothing better than a good old war to make them feel like a man.

Steven Richards

Posted by: scr02882 | June 23, 2009 2:53 PM | Report abuse

"you mean like the dominoes falling in the mid east"

God, more Vietnam era idiocy. *sigh* Just a few more years. Then everyone will stop listening to these idiots. Hopefully we're done with the boomer Presidents.

Posted by: DDAWD | June 23, 2009 2:51 PM | Report abuse

Your posts are getting more and more pathetic.

It's sad what a hack you and a lot of your colleagues at the post are becoming. Not a single drop of original analysis or intelligent thought.

Shame on you for reducing political reporting in this country to a game.

Posted by: cbcpapa | June 23, 2009 2:44 PM | Report abuse

Neda’s Death Highlights Women’s Role in Iran Protests. http://pfx.me/vP

Posted by: InformationDesk | June 23, 2009 2:39 PM | Report abuse

neocons' "ideas" have failed so spectacularly

Posted by: chrisuxcox

you mean like the dominoes falling in the mid east - the bush doctrine??

Moonbat. Read a book.

Posted by: king_of_zouk | June 23, 2009 2:36 PM | Report abuse

More to the point, The Fix appears stuck within the beltway mentality & can't see the forest for the trees. Froomkin's take puts it more in context:

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/white-house-watch/obama-slayer-of-the-gop.html

He links to the latest WaPost poll that includes a question on whether the President is properly handling Iran. 52 yes, 36 no, 12 no opinion.

The DC echo chamber is out of tune.

Posted by: bsimon1 | June 23, 2009 2:35 PM | Report abuse

CC wrote:

"...from a purely political perspective, the dichotomy between being president and being just another elected official has the very real potential of making Obama look insufficiently engaged on Iran."

Perhaps, again, "from a purely political perspective, the dichotomy" makes every other elected official look insuffuciently engaged on the internal priorities of the USA, whatever the voter thinks they may be.

Posted by: mark_in_austin | June 23, 2009 2:29 PM | Report abuse

The Fix writes
"the dichotomy between being president and being just another elected official has the very real potential of making Obama look insufficiently engaged on Iran."


That paragraph underscore's the Fix's area of expertise as domestic politics, not foreign policy.

Posted by: bsimon1 | June 23, 2009 2:28 PM | Report abuse

Everyone who knows anything about foreign policy says Obama is handling this exactly right. The only people who say he should intervene more are neocons like John Bolton, and neocons' "ideas" have failed so spectacularly that their opinions don't matter.

Posted by: chrisfox8 | June 23, 2009 2:18 PM | Report abuse

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