There is no gray area about whether Mr. Obama’s request to delay major diplomatic relations until after the election was motivated entirely by his own political considerations, an uncomfortable reality reflected in the beginning of the repartee between the two presidents. Mr. Obama explained, “On all these issues, but particularly missile defense, this, this can be solved but it’s important for him [Mr. Putin] to give me space.” Mr. Medvedev replied, “I understand your message about space. Space for you … .”
The insidious nature of this back and forth is due to the fact that Mr. Obama didn’t know a microphone was on and thought his conversation with the foreign leader was confidential. That he would be so forthcoming about making U.S. national security second fiddle to his personal quest for re-election is startling. That his candor benefits Russia - a strategic competitor to the United States and former longtime enemy - is scary. Mr. Obama already signed the ill-advised “New Start” Treaty, which allows Moscow to expand and modernize its nuclear stockpile while America unilaterally cuts down our own arsenal. It is the president’s self-centeredness, combined with a cavalier lack of respect for the global perception of U.S. power, that has many security analysts speculating about a rash October surprise to help his electoral bid.
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