Via Breitbart. He could have dodged this question a dozen ways. He could have said the election’s irrelevant from our standpoint since we have to play the cards we’re dealt; he could have noted, as Obama’s often done in the past, that true power resides in the supreme leader so it’s only his legitimacy that’s at issue; or he could have told the truth and said that all Iranian elections are shams since true reformers aren’t allowed on the ballot. Instead, so desperate are these tools to get Iran to the bargaining table and show Americans some sort of dividend from Hopenchange diplomacy that Gibbs actually acknowledges Ahmadinejad as the “elected leader” — the same lie the regime’s been telling the world and the same lie Iranians have been dying in the streets to challenge. As a de facto — and entirely gratuitous — endorsement of their corruption, it’s the lowest moment of The One’s presidency so far. And the only thing that’ll take the sting out of it is watching all the dumb liberals who painted their Twitter avatars green two months ago in solidarity with Mousavi’s supporters hemming and hawing now over how our lord and savior really had no choice but to kiss ass here.
Oh, and in case you’ve forgotten, Obama himself has already set a September deadline for negotiations to happen before he starts pushing for a new round of sanctions against Iran. Which means Gibbs endorsed the election result to preserve the possibility of talks for another eight whole weeks. Eight weeks.
Update: Iranian dissident Raymond Jahan has a question: “How can Obama recognize Ahmadinejad as the ‘chosen’ leader? Chosen by the minority & by cheating, yes.”
Update: More Jahan: “It wasn’t an election. It was a one-way road to continous dictatorship. American ppl should question their president.”