What did Obama promise the Russians 'after the election'?

Obama's promise of more flexibility to the Russians after the election could be fulfilled on Tuesday. What does that mean for Americans? Photo: Associated Press

WASHINGTON, November 5, 2012 ― No matter who wins on Tuesday, things are gonna change.

If President Obama wins, we will certainly see the departure of Hillary Clinton as secretary of state. Less certain is what changes Obama had in mind when he promised Russian Premier Medvedev that he would “have more flexibility” after the election.

As Governor Romney noted after this private promise was recorded on a still live mike, this is troubling.

Obama’s comments seem to say that he will act without concern for American public opinion, because, as he said, “This is my last election. After my election I have more flexibility.

Some have argued that it was only missile defense that was the subject of Obama’s promise to the Russians, but note well his actual words just prior to this:

“On all these issues, but particularly missile defense, this, this can be solved – but it’s important for him to give me space.”

How far is Obama planning to go “on all these issues”? The irony in his comments is that he is seen by most Americans as better than Romney on foreign policy. But his bumbling comment while cameras were rolling and mikes were hot shows inexperience at the least, and an amazing deference to the Russians.  

This does not seem out of character: Who can forget Obama’s bowing to the king of Saudi Arabia?

Obama’s accomodating nature, which has won him many votes, is a doubtful advantage in dealing with Russian strongman Vladimir Putin. Dinesh D’Souza’s characterization of Obama as a man ashamed of American hegemony rings true in his comments to the Russians, his bowing to Saudi Arabia, and his attempts to curry favor with Muslims in his Koran-quoting Egyptian speech.

All this has won Obama points internationally. But it leaves Americans wondering what a second term will bring with him in charge.


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Kerby Rials

Kerby Rials is a former newspaper reporter and editor who shares Michigan Press Association honors for his work on the East Lansing Towne Courier/Williamston Enterprise. He holds a magna cum laude BA in Journalism from Michigan State University. He is the author of "The Three Great Churches" (Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kindle) and “Hitler’s Christmas Present” (available this fall).  He speaks fluent French and Russian, and has opinions on almost any subject, some of which are correct.


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