Tags: Barack Obama | foreign | policy | clarify

New Yorker Editor Remnick: Obama Needs To Clarify Foreign Policy

By    |   Monday, 08 September 2014 10:40 PM

New Yorker editor David Remnick has a message for President Barack Obama: Your foreign policy needs some work.

Remnick, who reported earlier this year that Obama compared ISIS to a "JV" team, writes in the Sept. 15 issue of The New Yorker that the president has yet to clarify his position on dealing with the turmoil in the Middle East and in the Ukraine.

"After six years in office, Obama broadcasts his world-weariness with wan gestures and pauses, with loose moments in the White House press room," Remnick writes. "The world has stubbornly denied him his ambition to transcend its cruelties, pivot smartly to the East, and 'do some nation-building here at home.' Obama’s halting cool at the lectern now reads too often as weakness, and when he protests against the charges of weakness he can seem just tired.

"As the Middle East disintegrates and a vengeful cynic in the Kremlin invades his neighbor, Obama has offered no full and clarifying foreign-policy vision."

Obama, writes Remnick, doesn't help his cause by taking vacations and playing golf.

"Even the most forgiving judge of Barack Obama, one willing to overlook his preference for chipping onto the sunlit greens of Martha's Vineyard rather than brooding in the fluorescent glare of the Situation Room, must admit that the President has sometimes been a thick-tongued steward of his own foreign policy," Remnick writes. "He and his aides take too much comfort in their sense of being misunderstood and stymied. Their mistakes are not few."

Remnick continues: "A more punishing critique came from Hillary Clinton, Obama’s former Secretary of State, who, hoping to win herself some distance from an unpopular President, told the journalist Jeffrey Goldberg, 'Great nations need organizing principles, and 'Don’t do stupid stuff' is not an organizing principle.' Clinton had a point: 'Don't do stupid stuff' — a mantra in the West Wing — does not have quite the analytical penetration of the Long Telegram. Nor does it account adequately for Obama’s thinking on when American force should and should not be used."

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New Yorker editor David Remnick has a message for President Barack Obama: Your foreign policy needs some work.
foreign, policy, clarify
Monday, 08 September 2014 10:40 PM
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