As the Supreme Court heard ObamaCare arguments yesterday, the law finally proved it could provide quality emergency care for at one least patient – President Barack Obama.
The excitement surrounding the court case saved Obama from what should have been a day of punishing headlines after an open microphone caught him asking Russian President Dmitry Medvedev for “space” on missile defense and other issues. “This is my last election,” Obama told Medvedev. “After my election I have more flexibility.”
No one understands the nuisance of elections better than Russia’s leaders who long ago did away with the pretense of public accountability. With the wink of an eye and the slip of the tongue, Obama asked the Kremlin to put up with him humoring the silly concerns of American voters for just several more months.
In fact, it seems that everyone is in on this joke except for American voters. The press corps had a good laugh yesterday as Obama made light of the mishap by conducting mock microphone checks as if he had no regrets about the substance of his comments.
A news article in The New York Times had the audacity to describe Obama’s comments to Medvedev as a “frank assessment of the difficulty of reaching a deal – on this or any other subject – in an election year.” If Obama could be as “frank” about policy with voters in this country as he apparently is about politics with his friends in Russia, we might have some clue what this supposed “deal” entails. It appears that Obama has two sets of campaign talking points – one for the Russians and another for the Americans – and it’s anyone guess which he’ll follow in a second term.
Conservatives could not have scripted a sound bite that better encapsulates all their criticisms of Obama’s foreign policy. In the “space” of only a couple sentences, Obama bowed to the wishes of a foreign dictator, abandoned his allies and showed contempt for the intelligence of his fellow citizens.
But given how the press has so far shrugged off the story as a minor gaffe, the Republican nominee for president will have to make this case himself. One person who knows better than anyone what it will take is the architect of President George W. Bush’s two White House campaigns, Karl Rove. At the Fox News website yesterday, Rove wrote, “To make the most of Mr. Obama’s statement, Republicans will need to raise it again and again in speeches, ads, videos and debates.”
Let’s hope Republicans listen. Obama’s comments should echo all the way to November.