Commentary Magazine


Hot Mic Attack Ad: You Only Run Twice

President Obama’s hot mic slip-up with Russian President Dmitry Medvedev is bound to provide endless attack ad fodder for Republicans, but it’s going to be hard to top this ad out today from American Crossroads:

At the Washington Post, Charles Krauthammer can’t imagine why Obama thinks he owes Vladimir Putin any “flexibility” on missile defense after the way Russia has tampered with U.S. policy goals in Iran and Syria, and the unnecessary concessions the U.S. already has made on Eastern European missile defense and START. And Obama’s hot mic comments certainly send a detrimental message to our allies:

Can you imagine the kind of pressure a reelected Obama will put on Israel, the kind of anxiety he will induce from Georgia to the Persian Gulf, the nervousness among our most loyal East European friends who, having been left out on a limb by Obama once before, are now wondering what new flexibility Obama will show Putin — the man who famously proclaimed that the “greatest geopolitical catastrophe” of the 20th century was Russia’s loss of its Soviet empire?

They don’t know. We don’t know. We didn’t even know this was coming — until the mic was left open. Only Putin was to know. “I will transmit this information to Vladimir,” Medvedev assured Obama.

That’s the most troubling part – that we wouldn’t even have known if there hadn’t been a technological slip-up. How concerned you are about the hot mic moment probably depends on whether you think this was a one-time, off-the-cuff remark or a glimpse into Obama’s mindset on foreign policy.

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