Exciting new Cold War spy caper: “Operation Hot Mic”

posted at 8:11 pm on March 30, 2012 by Allahpundit

Attack ads on this subject will be plentiful come fall but few will have as much flair as this one from Rove’s group American Crossroads. Whoever came up with “Vladimir Putin as himself” should be a humor consultant on all GOP attack ads through the end of the year.

No surprise that this is rolling out as Romney starts to hammer Obama on foreign policy. The WSJ asks a question that I’ve wondered about myself, though: How much of Romney’s foreign-policy rhetoric is based on actual geopolitical strategy and how much is simple “whatever Obama’s doing with respect to country X is pathetically wrong” contrarianism?

“I think Obama’s foreign policy is seriously flawed, but I worry that too much of Romney’s criticism is driven by what he thinks is best politically, and not by any larger strategic vision,” said Dimitri Simes, a Russia expert who was a Romney foreign-policy adviser in 2008…

“Romney keeps staking out positions that are meant to be sharply at odds with Obama, but also happen to be at odds with what he would have to do if he were president,” said Aaron David Miller, a former Middle East adviser to five secretaries of state going back to the Reagan administration…

Mr. Romney has been critical of Obama policies toward China, accusing Mr. Obama of being a “near supplicant to Beijing.” He has promised to impose sanctions on China over its currency policies on his first day in office.

But Robert Kagan, another of Mr. Romney’s top foreign-policy aides, has singled out Mr. Obama’s diplomacy in Asia as one of the White House’s chief foreign-policy accomplishments. Two of Mr. Romney’s top economic advisers, Glenn Hubbard and Greg Mankiw, have also urged a softer line toward China on its currency.

I don’t think it’s a huge deal to be contrarian for the sake of being contrarian on foreign policy. Except for bold promises made on matters that the public’s keenly interested in (e.g., “I’ll end the war”), voters likely don’t even remember most of the foreign-policy verbiage they hear during the campaign. And to the extent that they do, they’ll cut the president slack that they won’t cut him on domestic policy because the many variables outside his control in foreign affairs sometimes force him to shift from his preferred approach. Two points, though. One: If Romney’s treating his hawkish FP rhetoric as just another matter that can be Etch-a-Sketched away for centrist voters once the general election campaign begins, then the knocks on Obama for being duplicitous in his intentions towards Russia start to have less bite. If your party’s set to nominate Mitt Romney then there’s a limit on how much you can go around fingerpointing about “flexibility.”

Two: As Simes and Miller note in the excerpt, there is potentially a cost to all this tough talk if Romney wins in November and suddenly has to co-exist with Putin. I can understand him being willing to risk that if it would give him a serious electoral advantage over The One, but barring something truly sensational happening internationally before November (e.g., a strike on Iran), foreign policy’s not going to decide the election. The election is about the economy and, more broadly, America deciding how big it can afford its federal government to be. And when push comes to shove, it’s very hard to out-hawk the guy who gave the order to kill Bin Laden and who’s liquidated many a filthbag jihadi in Pakistan’s tribal areas. You can argue that that’s one small part of a much bigger picture on foreign policy, but like I say, I think voters draw conclusions from bold strokes in this area. Killing the architect of 9/11 is as bold as it gets. Hard to convince people he’s an appeaser, no matter how clammy his hot mic comments to Medvedev were.

Exit question: Is Mitt going to try to reflexively outhawk Obama on Afghanistan too? Because that would be an exceedingly poor idea.


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Great video. Who sees this type of ad?

GaltBlvnAtty on March 30, 2012 at 8:15 PM

Great video. Who sees this type of ad?

GaltBlvnAtty on March 30, 2012 at 8:15 PM

People who read conservative blogs and are going to vote for Romney anyway.

Mark1971 on March 30, 2012 at 8:20 PM

I want to comment, but I’m not sure if Speaker Boehner is allowing us to speak about the president.

Rusty Allen on March 30, 2012 at 8:20 PM

Hard to convince people he’s an appeaser, no matter how clammy his hot mic comments to Medvedev were.

Very little of this is actually about foreign policy, though. It’s part of a broader issue: What Obama will do once he no longer has to face voters but will have power for four years.

The attack isn’t really about Russia or missile defense. It’s about making voters think about how he’ll get radical once he no longer has to answer to voters. That extends to all areas of policy, foreign policy being the least of the issues.

amerpundit on March 30, 2012 at 8:20 PM

I love this ad! But I thought the guy said, “I understand,” not, “I stand with you.”

Alana on March 30, 2012 at 8:21 PM

ok, TOO FUNNY

i’m dying over here…

needs to be on EVERY alphabet station…

cmsinaz on March 30, 2012 at 8:23 PM

Rusty Allen on March 30, 2012 at 8:20 PM

+1

cmsinaz on March 30, 2012 at 8:24 PM

Very little of this is actually about foreign policy, though. It’s part of a broader issue: What Obama will do once he no longer has to face voters but will have power for four years.

amerpundit on March 30, 2012 at 8:20 PM

That’s why the Senate races are equally (if not more) important.

BRunner on March 30, 2012 at 8:24 PM

I want to comment, but I’m not sure if Speaker Boehner is allowing us to speak about the president.

Rusty Allen on March 30, 2012 at 8:20 PM
…I think Speaker Bonehead saw this video…and wept!

KOOLAID2 on March 30, 2012 at 8:25 PM

Putin doesn’t matter, he’s going to do whatever he wants to do anyways….dear leader has given russia too many leeways now…

cmsinaz on March 30, 2012 at 8:25 PM

KOOLAID2 on March 30, 2012 at 8:25 PM

…there…I didn’t comment either.

KOOLAID2 on March 30, 2012 at 8:26 PM

I hope this goes viral

southernms on March 30, 2012 at 8:26 PM

Decent ad. Needs to be shortened about 30 seconds and put on TV, not just on the internet where it’ll only preach to the choir.

Yakko77 on March 30, 2012 at 8:27 PM

Its great I think. very funny

boogaleesnots on March 30, 2012 at 8:27 PM

Hahaha

Rusty Allen on March 30, 2012 at 8:28 PM

Don’t worry about Romney and his lack? of a foreign policy or his contrarianism. If he gets elected, the Repub establishment will be there, standing by ready, more’n'happy to inform him of exactly what his foreign policy is.

stukinIL4now on March 30, 2012 at 8:30 PM

It’s funny…

… because it’s true.

Oh, wait…!

Seven Percent Solution on March 30, 2012 at 8:31 PM

That’s why the Senate races are equally (if not more) important.

BRunner on March 30, 2012 at 8:24 PM

If we get rid of the 0, problem solved.

But several more decent senators would be nice.

cozmo on March 30, 2012 at 8:31 PM

Vote For Obama Pravda loves him

Grunt on March 30, 2012 at 8:33 PM

few will have as much flair as this one from Rove’s group American Crossroads.

“Rove’s an evil squishy RINO!” — hyper-purist wackos who hate everyone who disagrees with them on more than 1% of the issues

itsnotaboutme on March 30, 2012 at 8:40 PM

Great video. Who sees this type of ad?

GaltBlvnAtty on March 30, 2012 at 8:15 PM

Hopefully whoever you send it to.

itsnotaboutme on March 30, 2012 at 8:40 PM

Great ad! Hardball. Just now donated to American Crossroads to say thanks,

petefrt on March 30, 2012 at 8:40 PM

Rumor has it that Sandra Fluke will have two cameo roles starring as identical twin sisters who are dorm-mates — Ivana Humpalot and Pu$$y Galore.

Just a rumor though.

FlatFoot on March 30, 2012 at 8:44 PM

Great video!

As soon as Putin declares his “royalty” to the Soviets, Obama will be ready for the ceremonial bow.

Rovin on March 30, 2012 at 8:45 PM

How much of Romney’s foreign-policy rhetoric is based on actual geopolitical strategy and how much is simple “whatever Obama’s doing with respect to country X is pathetically wrong” contrarianism?

Wait a minute, AP. It’s not contrarianism to point out the obvious – Obama IS pathetically wrong 99.9999999% of the time.

Harbingeing on March 30, 2012 at 8:46 PM

From the comments:

Will Sandra Fluke cameo as Ivana Humpalot?

OK, that may be funny, but the issue is not her hunger for fornication.
The issue is her thirst for welfare goodies.

itsnotaboutme on March 30, 2012 at 8:47 PM

OT

How many of you bought tickets for tonight’s Mega-Millions draw?
I was at the ticket counter after being bombarded all day at work with everyone’s dream of sudden riches. There were only 2 people ahead of me, so there was minimal wait while I was looking at past winning numbers.

Realistically, I know the chance of winning is vanishingly small, and if I jump in, I would only buy one ticket. But that was not made me walk away without buying the ticket. My life will not be so different or better even if I had won all that money (a single winner will be richer than Romney). I am comfortable as it is. I would not do anything more had I won, or anything less if I had not. So I walked away not spending that $2 and went to get some ice cream instead.

If you bought tickets. Good luck.

galtani on March 30, 2012 at 8:47 PM

galtani on March 30, 2012 at 8:47 PM

Biggest ever lottery jackpot, huh?
To all you guys who are rushing out to contribute your share to the eventual winner’s prize, remember:
You can’t lose if you don’t play!
The lottery is a tax on people who are bad at math and/or logic.
:)

itsnotaboutme on March 30, 2012 at 8:49 PM

I love this ad! But I thought the guy said, “I understand,” not, “I stand with you.”

Alana on March 30, 2012 at 8:21 PM

I think he says both.

First he says “I understand” then “I will transmit this ….” and finally he seems to say “I stand with you”, although that last statement seems odd even from somebody for whom English is a second language.

YiZhangZhe on March 30, 2012 at 8:49 PM

Great video. Who sees this type of ad?

GaltBlvnAtty on March 30, 2012 at 8:15 PM

Hopefully whoever you send it to.

itsnotaboutme on March 30, 2012 at 8:40 PM

Understood: However, about 99% of the people to whom I would send it will have seen it already or sent it to me; they also are already planning to vote ABO. I trust that there is a better distribution process than relying on me.

GaltBlvnAtty on March 30, 2012 at 8:51 PM

I don’t understand why people go crazy buying tickets when the jackpot gets this big. Is a $10 million jackpot not worth the effort?

Mark1971 on March 30, 2012 at 8:52 PM

Great video.

I like the extra tag line to the title: Operation Hot Mic: You Only Run Twice

Bitter Clinger on March 30, 2012 at 8:55 PM

How much of Romney’s foreign-policy rhetoric is based on actual geopolitical strategy and how much is simple “whatever Obama’s doing with respect to country X is pathetically wrong” contrarianism?

Romney is no dummy. No doubt he knows foreign affairs far better than our community-organizer-in-chief, even after three years. Romney may be another disappointment like Bush in his second term, but even at that he’s 1000 time better than Øbama.

petefrt on March 30, 2012 at 8:56 PM

Romney trying to out hawk Obama on foreign policy will go down in history as one of the greatest political miscalculations of the century, nay…of the millennium! Heh.

Obama will claim credit for finding and killing Bin Laden and Aw’laki, plus a number of other high ranking Al’Qaeda operatives; for ending the war in Iraq while at the same time instigating the “Arab Spring” which featured the ousting and execution of Muamar Khadafi, as well as revolutions in Egypt, Tunisia and much of North Africa. That radical Islamist elements have taken power will conveniently be downplayed, if not totally ignored by the media.

Romney’s foreign policy creds pretty much amount to 30 months of brutal missionary work in that third world hell hole…France. From the Telegraph:

“But the Republican presidential hopeful spent a significant portion of his 30-month mission in a Paris mansion described by fellow American missionaries to The Daily Telegraph as “palace”

…Although he spent time in other French cities, for most of 1968, Mr Romney lived in the Mission Home, a 19th century neoclassical building in the French capital’s chic 16th arrondissement. “It was a house built by and for rich people,” said Richard Anderson, the son of the mission president at the time of Mr Romney’s stay. “I would describe it as a palace”.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/us-election/8959440/US-election-2012-Mitt-Romneys-life-as-a-poor-Mormon-missionary-in-France-questioned.html

I guess Romney can always claim credit for the Winter Olympics as a diplomatic success. Those were athletes from other nations, after all, and to my knowledge, none of them died.

ariel on March 30, 2012 at 9:04 PM

ariel on March 30, 2012 at 9:04 PM

Oh dearie, this is old fodder. Do try to keep up.

(Great ad. More please.)

bluealice on March 30, 2012 at 9:15 PM

How much of Romney’s foreign-policy rhetoric is based on actual geopolitical strategy and how much is simple “whatever Obama’s doing with respect to country X is pathetically wrong” contrarianism?

How much of Hot Air’s article posting content is “whatever Romney’s doing with respect to just about anything is wrong”?

It’s really getting old since at this point Romney is the Republican candidate (there’s no possible way to avoid that at this point) and only helping Obama.

crosspatch on March 30, 2012 at 9:25 PM

Two of Mr. Romney’s top economic advisers, Glenn Hubbard and Greg Mankiw, have also urged a softer line toward China on its currency.

Oh great! Just as the ChiComs are poised to supplant the London gold market and replace the dollar with yuan as the world reserve currency, we have this.

Another BIG reason to question who Willard will surround himself with if he’s elected.

OkieDoc on March 30, 2012 at 9:26 PM

“Romney keeps staking out positions that are meant to be sharply at odds with Obama, but also happen to be at odds with what he would have to do if he were president,” said Aaron David Miller, a former Middle East adviser to five secretaries of state going back to the Reagan administration…

Simes is spot on as well.

The video is spot on…and I take back all the bad things I’ve ever thought about AP…..ahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaaha…..BTW..

I think the next President will have some very serious foreign policies issues to deal with regarding Treasuries, competing currencies and the usual saber rattling HOWEVER, I’d like to know something of his/her thought process even if the solutions are not immediately obvious or avaialble now.

DevilsPrinciple on March 30, 2012 at 9:40 PM

It’s really getting old since at this point Romney is the Republican candidate (there’s no possible way to avoid that at this point) and only helping Obama.

crosspatch on March 30, 2012 at 9:25 PM

You’re absolutely right! Why not do away with the rest of the primaries and simply crown, I mean nominate Romney right now.

In fact, we don’t need no stinking convention either. Let’s just anoint Romney by official fiat and be done with the pretenses of an honest and fair primary process. After all, its time we fall in line like sheep and bleat the party line. There will be no dissension within our ranks as long as we remember…

“Floggings will continue until morale is improved!”

ariel on March 30, 2012 at 9:41 PM

You can argue that that’s one small part of a much bigger picture on foreign policy, but like I say, I think voters draw conclusions from bold strokes in this area. Killing the architect of 9/11 is as bold as it gets. Hard to convince people he’s an appeaser, no matter how clammy his hot mic comments to Medvedev were.

Now Allah has turned apologist for ObaMao. What’s next? Long quotes from Fareed Zakaria?

cicerone on March 30, 2012 at 10:06 PM

Obama will claim credit for finding and killing Bin Laden and Aw’laki, plus a number of other high ranking Al’Qaeda operatives; for ending the war in Iraq while at the same time instigating the “Arab Spring” which featured the ousting and execution of Muamar Khadafi, as well as revolutions in Egypt, Tunisia and much of North Africa. That radical Islamist elements have taken power will conveniently be downplayed, if not totally ignored by the media.

ObaMao claims credit for a lot of things. But, then again, he’s a proven liar, so… It won’t be hard to discredit ObaMao’s pathetic attempts at foreign policy. His bowing and scraping; his deliberate insults to several key allies; his ignoring of the war powers act when took us into Libya, which is a fiasco; his failed efforts to check Iran’s nuclear program; etc. etc.

cicerone on March 30, 2012 at 10:14 PM

ObaMao claims credit for a lot of things. But, then again, he’s a proven liar, so… It won’t be hard to discredit ObaMao’s pathetic attempts at foreign policy. His bowing and scraping; his deliberate insults to several key allies; his ignoring of the war powers act when took us into Libya, which is a fiasco; his failed efforts to check Iran’s nuclear program; etc. etc.

cicerone on March 30, 2012 at 10:14 PM

If you think the media will pick up on any of these memes, then you are sadly mistaken. The Left wing media have a lot of eggs in the Obama basket. They will be about protecting those eggs as a mother hen her brood.

Do you really think you’re paltry concerns about Obama violating the War Powers Act or ignoring the Iranian nuclear threat will resonate with the “Jersey Shore” and “American Idol” watching voters, especially once Hollywood begins the re-imaging of the “feckless” Barack Obama into the fearless Commander in Chief. I think not. Be prepared to see Obama portrayed as a cross between Patton, Moses, and Suleiman.

I said it before and I’ll say again. Any electorate stupid enough to elect Barack Obama for the first term will be stupid enough to reelect him for a second, especially if Hollywood and the lame stream media provide cover for him.

So good luck with that whole discredit his foreign policy thing. I hope it works out well for you. Me? I think I’ll stick to spotlighting his domestic achievements, most notably the destruction of our economy and the rise of a tyrannical police state.

ariel on March 30, 2012 at 10:50 PM

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/us-election/8959440/US-election-2012-Mitt-Romneys-life-as-a-poor-Mormon-missionary-in-France-questioned.html

I guess Romney can always claim credit for the Winter Olympics as a diplomatic success. Those were athletes from other nations, after all, and to my knowledge, none of them died.

ariel on March 30, 2012 at 9:04 PM

From Article

When the president returned to the US for surgery, J. Fielding Nelson, the president of the Geneva mission, was sent to Paris to take over. But Mr Romney had things so under control that he soon returned to Switzerland. “It was astonishing,” Mr Nelson said. “This 20-year-old kid was running it”.

What I do not get about Mitt. He spent time in only one area on his mission. But performed so well he was called as an Assistant to the President when barely on his mission. His performance was amazing.

But instead of using this early experience at management he instead lies about apartments he visited but did not live in.

There are blatant lies in this article. Missionaries have their own checking accounts for the most part and their parents can give them about as much as they want with in limits. His parents could not have rented fancy apartments for him for example. But he never lived on $125 per month. Most likely when he was running the mission home he was spending thousands.

But I am blown away still that at 20 he could do this the old Mission President did recover but for about two years Mitt basically ran this mission.

I admire Mitt but a person that can lie so easily. A person who could run to the left of every Democrat and pass Romney Care is NOT a person I could ever trust. He will lose this election. I pray for a miracle to occur such that he loses the nomination.

But perhaps America is just too evil and we no longer deserve a democratic government.

Steveangell on March 30, 2012 at 11:29 PM

Recently I’ve been thinking about a book I read more than 15 or 20 years ago. It was titled The Red President and as I recall was about a sleeper who was elevated to the presidency. It was very similar to what seemed to happen in 2008. Just an observation from someone with a few years under the belt.

freedomfirst on March 30, 2012 at 11:55 PM

petefrt on March 30, 2012 at 8:56 PM

Good points, I really think Romney has more in store for Obama than we have given him credit for. Watching him with Paul Ryan today and other times recently, he seems poised, but ready to come off the chain. Obama has been more of a failure than most people understand. Once we get the primary behind us it’s open season on the current admin, and Ryan, Rubio, Newt, etc, will be part of the takedown team. Romney is not ideal, I get that. But he is what we’ve got and hopefully he gets that that will require him to fight, tell the truth and represent those who are tired of the debt, deficit, and deceit.

Rusty Allen on March 31, 2012 at 12:06 AM

So when will the trolls come out and explain how we have Obama’s motives all wrong here??

goflyers on March 31, 2012 at 12:14 AM

Recently I’ve been thinking about a book I read more than 15 or 20 years ago. It was titled The Red President and as I recall was about a sleeper who was elevated to the presidency. It was very similar to what seemed to happen in 2008. Just an observation from someone with a few years under the belt.

freedomfirst on March 30, 2012 at 11:55 PM

To tell you the truth Mitt Romney scares me far more than Obama ever has.

Obama is an idiot IMHO. He is just a stupid black that can give a great speech if he can read it. But his only qualification for President is that he is Black. I have never seen any evidence that the man has an ounce of intelligence.

Mitt on the other hand excels at every thing he does to an extent that no one else can come close to. I mean running the French Mission at age 20 is impressive to say the least. Same with Bain. Same with the Olympics. I constantly threw up reading about Mitt running Mass. because of his goals. But he exceeded expectations on every single one of them. Ted Kennedy told Mitt there was no way he could get Government run Health Care but he did. The LGBT never dreamed Gay Marriage was possible now 8 years later opposing it even in the Republican Party is frowned on. Same with Planned Parenthood. They never dreamed they could be assured a seat on the Health Board but Mitt came through. You can go down Mitts list when he ran for Governor. On every item he exceeded expectations.

My fear is you are right. Mitt is so good it would not even surprise me if he got Obama to run as his VP to learn from him.

But he sure hates conservatives. He sure hates religions other than his own possibly.

Steveangell on March 31, 2012 at 1:31 AM

How much of Romney’s foreign-policy rhetoric is based on actual geopolitical strategy and how much is simple “whatever Obama’s doing with respect to country X is pathetically wrong” contrarianism?

Given Obama’s core and demonstrated performance, that doesn’t really seem like a bad approach. Pretty much Obama is wrong 99.5% of the time. Taking the given approach will make the Republican candidate correct 99.5% of the time. I’m not seeing a problem with this.

AZfederalist on March 31, 2012 at 2:08 AM

Did Rush loan Paul Shanklin to Rove to help make this video?

Kissmygrits on March 31, 2012 at 9:46 AM

I Loved It!!
I really hope that makes it to the airwaves (tv’s) this summer.
I Loved It!!

mmcnamer1 on March 31, 2012 at 10:42 AM

Rumor has it that Sandra Fluke will have two cameo roles starring as identical twin sisters who are dorm-mates — Ivana Humpalot and Pu$$y Galore.

LOL, that’s a good one.

It’s true, this is not about Russia, or missile defense, it’s about Obama and his hidden agenda.

Jocon307 on March 31, 2012 at 6:27 PM