The exchange was picked up by microphones as reporters were let into the room for remarks by the two leaders.
President Obama: On all these issues, but particularly missile defense, this, this can be solved but it’s important for him to give me space.
President Medvedev: Yeah, I understand. I understand your message about space. Space for you…
President Obama: This is my last election. After my election I have more flexibility.
President Medvedev: I understand. I will transmit this information to Vladimir.
Okay, so three things bother me about this statement.
The first thing is that Barack Obama is being so presumptuous. Granted, the latest polls as of today show that, against Mitt Romney, the president is anywhere between a statistical tie to eleven percentage points ahead, and against Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich he is even more so. Still, those polls do not take into account the natural coalescence that will take place after a GOP nominee is finally picked. Just as neither Mitt nor Newt nor Rick should be measuring the drapes in the Oval Office, Barack Obama should not be planning his second term.
As the ever-awesome John Feeny pointed out on Facebook today, “Barack Obama will have plenty of flexibility after the next election — flexibility to go golfing, flexibility to make speeches, flexibility to do community organizing,” because he sure ain’t gonna still be president.
The second thing that bothers me–and this is far more important than any presumptuousness from a presumptuous man–is that the president has absolutely zero problem subordinating nuclear security to partisan politics. We already saw that the president had no problem whatsoever favoring Russia while leaving Poland high and dry with regard to President Bush’s missile defense system … why shouldn’t we believe that, to this president, re-election is a higher priority than safety from rogue nations like Iran and North Korea, the latter of which has scheduled a long-range missile test to happen in the next few weeks?
The third thing that bothers me about the president’s open-mic statement, is that he’s the same man who said this during the 2008 election:
The prospect of a lame-duck President Obama should scare everyone.