Did Obama Win or Lose Face Over Syria?

Monday, 16 Sep 2013 01:57 PM

By Jon Friedman

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Much of President Barack Obama's credibility will depend on how much the national and international media approve or disapprove of him.
He can hold all the press conferences he wants to — and I support him in these events — but ultimately, the TV, web and print pundits and commentators will go a long way toward determining his place in our minds now and, ultimately, history.
The POTUS' latest measuring point was, of course, his scrape with Syria. The president made a terrible miscalculation by suggesting that his electorate would blindly support a U.S.-led attack on Syria because of its government's crimes against humanity. But we know now that Obama was wrong, and he sensibly retreated before too much damage was done of all kinds — especially to his blessed image.
But what do we — the media and the public — finally make of the president's handling of the Syria scare? Do we slap his wrists for misinterpreting our nation's mood? Or do we give him credit for reversing his course when he got with the nation's program?

Do we feel confident in his judgments about foreign policy going forward? Or will we always have nagging doubts that he can get it right, in case some other foreign despot acts like, well, a despot?
Mr. President, the ball is in your court. The heavy lifting is only beginning.
Jon Friedman writes the Media Matrix blog for Indiewire.com. He is also the author of "Forget About Today: Bob Dylan's Genius for (Re)Invention, Shunning the Naysayers, and Creating a Personal Revolution." Read more reports from Jon Friedman — Click Here Now.

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