Tags: Barack Obama | Exclusive Interviews | Steve Malzberg Show | South Korea | Obama | Dana Milbank

WashPo's Milbank: Obama Only Going to Seoul for the Sushi

Friday, 25 Apr 2014 03:11 PM

President Barack Obama's trip to Seoul, South Korea, is little more than a "tourist visit" and will unlikely do anything to bolster America's foreign policy, Washington Post columnist Dana Milbank says.

"I call this sort of a tourist visit. Really, what he's doing is three state dinners. He's got some Michelin three-star sushi in there," Milbank told "The Steve Malzberg Show" on Newsmax TV.

And while Milbank says many conservatives believe Obama is projecting weakness on the world scene, he looks at it another way.

"I don't think he's projecting anything at all. ... Whatever the policy is, I'd like to see him be a bit more forceful about it," Milbank said.

"We have this pivot to Asia back in 2011, and well, it's three years later, and we haven't really pivoted there. We sort of tiptoe over there and head back to the Middle East or to whatever the crisis of the moment is."

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Milbank said that while the United States government has made a bit of progress on bolstering the Trans Pacific Partnership — a trade agreement among Brunei, Chile, New Zealand, and Singapore — nothing further will be hammered out on the latest trip.

"So if we are really pivoting to Asia, if that's really where the American foreign policy should be centered right now — and there's a good case to make that it should be — well, let's do that, and let's keep the focus over there," he said.

Commenting on the 2016 presidential election, Milbank said conservatives will look to the Benghazi attack as one focal point should former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton be the Democratic nominee.

However, "it's not clear that [Benghazi] really is going to have legs through the 2016 election,'' he said.

Milbank does not believe Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts will declare herself a candidate.

"If you have an anti-Hillary vote out there, who does it go to? … It's not going to go to [Maryland Gov.] Martin O'Malley, it's not going to go to [Vice President Joe] Biden, [or New York Gov.] Andrew Cuomo," he said.

"There's nobody else out there who can really catch fire the way Obama did in 2008. The only person who possibly can do that is Warren, so … if there's going to be some liberal insurgency against Hillary the way the Obama insurgency really was in 2008 it would be her.

"But I don't think she's going to do it, and I don't think she would succeed, assuming Hillary is running. ... It doesn't appear that there's going to be any oxygen left if she's running."

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