I’ve never seen anyone bob and weave as much as Obama has since he answered yes to the following question at a debate:
Would you be willing to meet separately, without precondition, during the first year of your administration, in Washington or anywhere else, with the leaders of Iran, Syria, Venezuela, Cuba and North Korea in order to bridge the gap that divides our countries?
I mean the question could not have been phrased more clearly. Let’s break it down:
Would you be willing to meet separately
Translation: Not at a summit, not in a multilateral context
Translation: without precondition
Further translation: without requiring anything in exchange for such a meeting
during the first year of your administration
Translation: during the first 12 months or 365 days or 8760 hours of an Obama administration
in Washington or anywhere else,
Translation: any place in the world
with the leaders of Iran, Syria, Venezuela, Cuba and North Korea
With Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Bashar al-Assad, Hugo Chavez, raul castro and Kim Jong Il
in order to bridge the gap that divides our countries?
Translation: in order to normalize relations with their countries.
Of course the answer should have been “no”. But Obama, in an attempt to out-liberal his opponents jumped at the opportunity to differentiate himself without thinking through the consequences. Obama would fly in the face of the wisdom of presidents of both parties and common sense.
Perhaps he began to believe his own press clippings about his magical powers but it was clearly a mistake. As Charles Krauthammer has noted, he should have immediately withdrawn that answer and expressed a more reasonable answer. Instead we have the aforementioned bobbing and weaving.
It’s all nuance you see. As once commenter at JustOneMinute said, “Nuance = incoherent”.