Last week president Obama was caught on an open microphone undermining US policy by seemingly telling Russian President Medvedev to send a message to incoming president Putin to wait until after Barack is elected to get a better deal on missile defense and God knows what else. Mitt Romney and many Republicans have rightly called into question just what Obama may have been signaling.
Today Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Vice President Joe Biden came to Obama’s defense and attacked Romney.
A sampling from Reuters:
“He acts like he thinks the Cold War is still on, Russia is still our major adversary. I don’t know where he has been,” Biden shot back during a Sunday interview on the CBS current affairs program “Face the Nation.”
“This is not 1956,” Biden added. “We have disagreements with Russia, but they’re united with us on Iran. One of only two ways we’re getting material into Afghanistan to our troops is through Russia … if there is an oil shutdown in any way in the Gulf, they’ll consider increasing oil supplies to Europe.”
Meanwhile, Clinton told CNN that Romney needed to be more realistic about U.S.-Russian relations.
“I think it’s somewhat dated to be looking backwards instead of being realistic about where we agree, where we don’t agree,” she said in an interview during a visit to Turkey.
Wow that sounds amazingly pragmatic and gives a rather cheerful picture of Putin’s Russia. It almost makes you forget that in 2008 then Senator Clinton remarked on a previous statement by President George W. Bush that he got a “glimpse” of Mr. Putin’s soul by saying the following:
“This is the president that looked in the soul of Putin and I could have told him, he was a KGB agent. By definition he doesn’t have a soul. I mean, this is a waste of time, right? This is nonsense, but this is the world we’re living in right now.”
Interesting. So the incoming President of Russia has “no soul” according to our Secretary of State and yet she is defending her administration’s use of backchannel messages essentially signaling concessions to this empty former KGB dictator. Interesting.