Everybody has advice for President Obama, especially in the wake of Professor Gates’ arrest last week.
The esteemed National Journal, in a piece penned before the President unwisely plunged head first into the Gates mess (sub req'd), suggests that Obama take a cue from President Nixon. The July 25 cover story doesn’t suggest that Obama secretly invade Cambodia or wiretap the headquarters of the Republican National Committee. NJ just believes an "injection of Nixonian realism would do the President good."
The article notes that our 37th President was "ruthless and profane and held few illusions about the world," while No. 44 seems to be following in the footsteps of John F. Kennedy. JFK was a smooth talker and strong on the public diplomacy front, but failed to leave much of a mark on the international front.
The NJ sees a crying need for some "tough love" for Obama. The D.C. glossy says the jury is out on whether Obama "has the inside game to match his smooth outside game in the statecraft of politics." It frets that Obama is not going to be the "son of a bitch" that is sometimes needed when facing adversaries. The Journal says Obama will have to be a "hard-nosed and yet a good horse trader" when it comes to dealing with Beijing, Moscow, Tehran and Tel Aviv.
The Journal gives Obama a fallback option in the event he doesn't want to emulate "Tricky Dick," whose "secret plan" to end the war in Vietnam was to bomb the place to smithereens and then turn the fighting over to the locals so America could withdraw under the banner of "peace with honor."
Obama could take a cue from Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, one tough bird. Clinton promised to “obliterate” Iran if it attacked Israel while she was in the White House. Clinton is now re-emerging on the scene after an injury-related hiatus. Obama better take notice.
Paul Starobin did a heckuva job in writing the NJ piece.