John Kerry: No, frankly, I don’t think Obama takes enough credit for his foreign-policy successes
posted at 2:01 pm on May 30, 2014 by Erika Johnsen
I thought that this “President Humility Does Not Give Himself Enough Credit” line was just some rather ineptly delivered straw-grasping from a struggling State Department spokesperson, but… apparently not. This is the official stance from the department’s top banana himself, via RCP:
JOHN KERRY: I don’t think the president, frankly, takes enough credit for the successes that are on the table right now.
I mean, if you look at what has happened in Ukraine, the president led an effort to try to keep Europe unified with the United States, to put difficult sanctions on the table. Europe wasn’t thrilled with that but they came along. …
In Syria the president, you know, obviously made his decision to strike Syria, and appropriately sent that decision to Congress. Congress didn’t want to move, but we came up with another solution, which was get all of those chemical weapons out rather than just have one or two days of strike. …
In addition, the president has engaged with Iran. We were on a course to absolute collision where they were building a nuclear system and the world was standing opposed to that. But the president put in place a series of sanctions, a capacity to be able to bring Iran to the table. We are now in the middle of negotiations. …
So I think we are as engaged, more engaged than in any time in American history, and I think that case is there to be fully proven and laid out. And I think –
GWEN IFILL: Yet that’s not the generally held impression.
JOHN KERRY: No, it’s not. And the reason is there is a general, you know, frankly not fully informed, not factual, conventional sort of process that gets played out in the media. And of course there is an industry in Washington today of oppositionism, oppositionists – oppose anything. And the Congress and its current, you know, pace of legislating tells the whole story.
Of course the president’s top diplomat is going to say that his boss’s foreign policy is an especially good one, and Kerry is certainly prone to living in his own fool’s paradise on what that brand of foreign-policy maneuvering can accomplish, but… President Obama doesn’t assign himself enough credit, really? I guess “engagement” without doing much of anything to definitively mitigate or move these Ukraine/Syria/Iran situations is the new benchmark for success — and it doesn’t even matter much, because those petty, obstructionist lawmakers won’t allow him to really execute his vision anyway.