CBS: Obama International ‘Darling,’ But Hasn’t Accomplished Anything

Chip Reid, CBS In a somewhat schizophrenic report on Tuesday’s CBS Evening News, White House correspondent Chip Reid proclaimed President Obama is: "still the darling of the international community. Warmly welcomed by a world that grew weary of President Bush’s brash go-it-alone style." But also admitted: "But with scant progress on a long his of issues, the question now is what does he have to show for it?"

Anchor Katie Couric opened the segment by asking Reid: "Can the President be anything other than the center of attention? Can he do more with that?" Reid replied: "He sure would like to be, Katie. You know, at every international summit he has attended he has been the most popular person in the room. But now many people are asking what good is popularity if it doesn’t lead to concrete results?" After denouncing President Bush’s "brash style," Reid praised Obama for his "sharp departure" which " has recommitted the United States to working with the U.N. and engaging the world."

However, Reid spent the remainder of the segment demonstrating how that break with the Bush administration has failed to achieve any results: "The President orchestrated a mini summit today with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, but in the end, the result was a hand shake, not a break through....Mr. Obama has reached out to rogue nations like Iran, but that hasn’t stopped President Ahmadinejad...from pursuing a nuclear program."

Reid concluding his report by noting: "There are two very busy days still to go in this summit, but the White House is actively downplaying expectations because they concede there won’t be much in the way of immediate results."

Here is a full transcript of Reid’s report:

6:34PM

KATIE COURIC: Among the world leaders here in New York is President Obama, making his U.N. debut today at a world conference on climate change. Our chief White House correspondent Chip Reid is at the U.N. tonight. And Chip, can the President be anything other than the center of attention? Can he do more with that?

CHIP REID: He sure would like to be, Katie. You know, at every international summit he has attended he has been the most popular person in the room. But now many people are asking what good is popularity if it doesn’t lead to concrete results? After eight months in office, he’s still the darling of the international community. Warmly welcomed by a world that grew weary of President Bush’s brash go-it-alone style. In a sharp departure, President Obama has recommitted the United States to working with the U.N. and engaging the world.

BARACK OBAMA: This is a new day. It is a new era.

REID: But with scant progress on a long his of issues, the question now is what does he have to show for it? Take Middle East peace.

OBAMA: It is past time to talk about starting negotiations. It is time to move forward.

REID: After months of behind-the-scenes work, the President orchestrated a mini summit today with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, but in the end, the result was a hand shake, not a break through. He also met with Chinese President Hu Jintao, but there was no word of progress on defusing major trade disputes. Mr. Obama has reached out to rogue nations like Iran, but that hasn’t stopped President Ahmadinejad – who speaks at the U.N. tomorrow – from pursuing a nuclear program.

JUAN ZARATE [CBS NATIONAL SECURITY ANALYST]: The President runs the risk that the images out of New York will be a symbol of his attempts to reach out to rogue regimes in a way that may not be effective.

REID: One issue getting little attention at the U.N. summit is the war in Afghanistan. Today in Washington, though, Senator John McCain lashed out at the President for not sending more troops, which his top general there says is essential for success.

JOHN MCCAIN: I have never seen a disconnect like this between the military leadership and the White House on an issue.

REID: There are two very busy days still to go in this summit, but the White House is actively downplaying expectations because they concede there won’t be much in the way of immediate results. Katie.

COURIC: Chip Reid, thanks, Chip. Before flying to the U.S., Iran’s president was talking tough at a military parade in Tehran, marking the 29th anniversary of the Iran/Iraq war. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad warned that his forces will quote, ‘cut the hand of anyone who attacks Iran over its nuclear program.’ But the display of force turned tragic when a military jet crashed south of the city. Seven people were killed. By the way, before President Ahmadinejad talks to the U.N. tomorrow, he’ll talk with us. I’ll have that exclusive interview on tomorrow’s CBS Evening News.

Kyle Drennen
Kyle Drennen
Kyle Drennen is a News Analyst for MRC