Tom Friedman: 'I’d Give Obama High Marks for Fulfilling Bush's Foreign Policy'
New York Times columnist Tom Friedman this weekend said he'd give President Obama high marks for fulfilling Bush's foreign policy.
This surprising observation on PBS's McLaughlin Group came somewhat coincident with Chris Matthews saying George W. Bush was actually better at conveying his message than the current White House resident (video follows with transcript and commentary):
THOMAS FRIEDMAN, NEW YORK TIMES: I’d give Obama high marks for fulfilling Bush's foreign policy. I think he's been very good at executing Bush's foreign policy, particularly the war on terrorism. Been very focused. He's I think brought power to bear in a very smart way. He's gotten the people he needed getting. In terms of his own foreign policy, I’d agree with Mort. I think it's TK. I think the issues that he's taking on himself whether it was Arab-Israel diplomacy, or building a different relationship with China, still to be determined. I think the key thing here is leverage.
JOHN MCLAUGHLIN, HOST: You don't think the fact that he is carrying forward the Bush-Cheney policy that that diminishes what Obama is doing?
FRIEDMAN: Oh, no.
MCLAUGHLIN: Doesn’t that really say something about the stature of Obama?
FRIEDMAN: Yeah. I think he…
MCLAUGHLIN: He's willing to see credibility and truth where it is.
FRIEDMAN: And deal with it in an effective way.
So we learned from two Obama lovers this weekend that the supposedly most intelligent man ever in the White House is less effective at conveying his message than the president they both thought was an idiot, and the intellectually superior chief executive is just executing his addle-minded predecessor's foreign policy.
If only Bush would have gotten this kind of respect when he was in office.