Obama looking for a “hard pivot” on Iran?

posted at 11:36 am on December 29, 2009 by Ed Morrissey

“Pivot” appears to have become the new watchword at the White House.  First, Obama administration sources told Politico that Obama would put off health-care reform negotiations in order to make a “hard pivot” onto job creation and economic stimulus.  Today, sources at the White House tell the Wall Street Journal that the administration will also make a pivot on Iran, exhausted from a full year of attempting to sweet-talk them into just discussing an end to their nuclear-weapons program:

President Barack Obama on Monday joined other world leaders in condemning Sunday’s attacks, offering his strongest support yet for Iran’s opposition movement and possibly signaling a less accommodating approach to Tehran.

Speaking in Hawaii, Mr. Obama for the first time publicly demanded Iran’s release of “unjustly” detained political opponents. He joined with European leaders in calling for Iran’s leaders to abide by international conventions on the treatment of political activists.

The Iranian people wish for “justice and a better life for themselves,” Mr. Obama said, adding that “the decision of Iran’s leaders to govern through fear and tyranny will not succeed in making those aspirations go away.” …

Senior U.S. officials said the Obama administration recognizes that it is now at a “pivot point” in its strategy toward Tehran. This shifting U.S. position, said these officials, has been driven by Iran’s rejection of direct negotiations over its nuclear program and its crackdown on democracy activists in the country.

“Pivot” in this case means exactly what it did in relation to Obama’s domestic agenda priorities.  It means a change of direction, which acknowledges that the administration has been going the wrong way before now.  We lost over three million private-sector jobs before Obama figured out that overhauling the American health care system that satisfies most people, and over half of the uninsured, was not the greatest crisis facing the US in 2009.

How much have we lost before Obama finally realized the folly of appeasement with Iran?  Iran has used the year to further its development of nuclear weapons.  Our lack of toughness has created a posture of vacillation that will take some time to overcome.  Furthermore, we have lost credibility with those who demand freedom and democracy in Iran, people who waited six months to hear Obama’s words of solidarity issued six months after their protests began over the stolen election.

On several fronts, this has been a lost year.  Obama will have to make a number of “hard pivots” in 2010 to right the ship.  The question will be whether those pivots put the US in the right direction, or even further off the compass.

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Another round of B-pluses for everybody!

ya2daup on December 29, 2009 at 1:35 PM



ihasurnominashun on December 29, 2009 at 1:38 PM

The Unprecedented’s two visits to Copenhagen were prime examples of how he executes “hard pivots”
ya2daup on December 29, 2009 at 1:34 PM

Get a handful of jack n’ squat, then pivot right back around for another one.

ted c on December 29, 2009 at 1:38 PM

The Iranian people wish for “justice and a better life for themselves,” Mr. Obama said…

I am always wary when ObaMao invokes the word justice. He is usually talking about economic redistribution with that term and not liberty or self-determination coming from political activism.

With Rahm “The Ballerina” Emanuel as his guiding-star chief of staff, perhaps the designation for ObaMao should be pirhouette, not pivot. The spinning of our foreign policy in re to Iran is highly dependent on polls.

onlineanalyst on December 29, 2009 at 1:39 PM


ted c on December 29, 2009 at 12:49 PM

Pivots with Wolves

ya2daup on December 29, 2009 at 1:40 PM

The question is not merely whether he “pivots” in the right direction, but whether or not he and his minions have the stones to back up his decisions.

Are you sure he didn’t say “divots?”

Filecchio on December 29, 2009 at 1:40 PM

Between the pivots, hard pivots, and pivot points, seems like Skippy is turning out to be a pretty strong pivot man.

Wind Rider on December 29, 2009 at 1:49 PM

But so far he and his wife are only good at vacations and shopping.

ORconservative on December 29, 2009 at 12:12 PM

No, not even good at shopping. Michele’s clothes are horrific. Whoever is telling her she looks great should be shot. I miss Lara Bush’s sense of understated elegance. She always looked like a million bucks- instead of looking like she bought the stuff on the clearance rack of Old Navy like FLOTUS does.

Kristamatic on December 29, 2009 at 1:51 PM

The most aggravating and inexperienced administration since Carter.
How dare he think that his Cairo speech fueled the Iranians in their quest for freedom. This was about to erupt, 30 years and waiting. His speech did NOTHING for the people of Iran. They were waiting for an excuse to come out and speak out against the government and the whole vote debacle was the tip of the iceberg. This man knows no humility; he blames others for any failures while taking credit for everything else. He can’t have it both ways. It’s also interesting to note that he takes a far tougher approach when it comes to opponents in his own country than brutal dictators around the world. He scolds Republicans on their lack of bipartisanship (his views not mine) and displays the level of anger, frustration, and boldness that he should probably be using against the regime in Iran. He is actually very lucky; he has an opportunity to change the playing field in the region in favor of the United States. With Iran’s barbaric mullahcracy ejected, our men and women fighting in neighboring countries will have one less enemy. If not for the rights of people and for the sake of freedom, then reject the mullahcracy for our troops. Iran has been fighting a proxy war and doing everything in their power to hurt the United States and now with the development of the weapons program, we only have a small window to stop them. This is a gift in Obama’s lap. As Krauthammer accurately pointed out, this is a moment in history and Obama is missing it.

Belondy on December 29, 2009 at 1:55 PM

Lara Bush’s sense of understated elegance

So true!

Belondy on December 29, 2009 at 1:56 PM

I’ll take “further off the compass” for 1000, Ed.

Kafir on December 29, 2009 at 1:57 PM

That Obama was pivot man is nothing new.

What IS new is the dashing of his childlike idealism that if you are simply nice to people, they will always do what you want them to do. Maybe that space behind his ears is beginning to dry a little. I have no idea, but it is like we have given control of the country to someone with an adolescent level of maturity.

We need to somehow get these radical theorists out of the administration and get people in there with some real world experience. The notion that simply “believing” is enough is from Peter Pan.

Can you imagine if you had a car built by people who have never really built one before but read some really cool books about how one should be built? We have a government by people with no experience but who have read some really cool books and had some really cool discussions about it. And they stayed at a Holiday Inn once, to boot.

crosspatch on December 29, 2009 at 2:01 PM

Hard pivoting from one tipping point to another (but his Cairo speech was sooooo good)!

ya2daup on December 29, 2009 at 2:05 PM

Don’t get your hopes up. So far he hasn’t even proposed anything, let alone done anything, on either front; all he has done is made a tactical retreat on ObamaCare.

burt on December 29, 2009 at 2:20 PM

Big deal. He’s been making so many ‘hard pivots’ he might as well be a top in a tuxedo.

Dark-Star on December 29, 2009 at 3:28 PM

Double Feh.

The only way he’d pivot on Iran is if he thinks he reverse his sagging poll numbers.

Otherwise, it’ll be right back to turning Amerika into Mega-Chicago.

CPT. Charles on December 29, 2009 at 4:06 PM

Hard pivot on Iran. Must be time for a sternly worded letter.

ajackson on December 29, 2009 at 4:29 PM

Bruno Strozek on December 29, 2009 at 12:28 PM

You mean BleedsBlue. BlatantBlue is a Conservative young man.

kingsjester on December 29, 2009 at 12:34 PM

Yes, of course. If my error of haste gave offense, I sincerely apologize.

Thank you for “righting” my ship, KJ!

Bruno Strozek on December 29, 2009 at 4:34 PM

How many pivots make a circle?

karl9000 on December 29, 2009 at 8:09 PM

Hope and Change = Fake and pivot.

GrannyDee on December 30, 2009 at 12:37 AM

I don’t know what scares me more, a feckless ideological incompetent Obama who bends over for all global thugs or a feckless ideological and incompetent Obama that tries to take on the global thugs. Sigh. I’ll be happy with Carter back at this point.

elduende on December 30, 2009 at 1:29 AM