So, despite the big “reset” of relations with Russia, Mr. Obama snubbed its president in his own country, called him a slouching schoolboy, then showed up late for dinner, miffing the host. Too soon, playtime in St. Petersburg was over and the president came home to D.C. and returned to — work, you’re thinking? No, the golf course.
Back to the rescue came Secretary of State Kerry. Asked whether Syrian President Bashar Assad could do anything to avert the coming pinprick, Lurch said: “Sure, he could turn over every single bit of his chemical weapons to the international community in the next week.” Boom, another red line. But the State Department quickly said, “no red, no red.” Instead, their high school spokeswoman Jen Psaki said Mr. Kerry was merely making a “rhetorical argument.”
Too late. Mr. Putin jumped in and offered to help broker the deal. In fact, he’d lead the whole thing — and take credit for it, too. But the White House said, wait, it was really our idea from the get-go, and when we had a secret meeting in Russia with Pooty Poot, we brought it up — first!
In the end, Congress bailed (don’t expect a Syria vote), Mr. Obama and Mr. Kerry embarrassed themselves again, and Mr. Putin ended up lecturing America — in The New York Times, no less — about the misguided notion of American exceptionalism. Oh, and then the Russian president headed to Iran for some talks on helping the rogue nation get its nuclear program up and running.
Still, who could’ve seen such a development? Um, Mitt Romney. “Russia is, without question, our No. 1 geopolitical foe. They fight every cause for the world’s worst actors,” the Republican presidential candidate said six months before the 2012 election.
And how did Mr. Obama respond: “The 1980s,” he said in a debate, “are now calling to ask for their foreign policy back because the Cold War’s been over for 20 years.”
• Joseph Curl covered the White House and politics for a decade for The Washington Times and is now editor of the Drudge Report. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and on Twitter @josephcurl.