The Corner

Obama Channels Rumsfeld

Speaking to students during a town hall meeting in Turkey, President Obama used an interesting analogy to make the case that turning U.S. policy in a new direction would take time.

“States are like big tankers,” he said, “They’re not like speedboats. You can’t just whip them around and go in another direction.”

If that sounds familiar, it might be because you’ve heard it before — from Don Rumsfeld.

Testifying before Congress in 2001, Rumsfeld explained why turning the U.S. Department of Defense in a new direction would take time. “Change is difficult,” he said. “Changing the Defense Department is like turning a great aircraft carrier — it does not turn on a dime.” And in a Pentagon town hall meeting around the same time he said much the same thing: “You’re dealing with a great, big institution, and change is hard. It’s like turning a battleship. You don’t spin it like a speedboat.”

Doubtful the president realized he was channeling Don Rumsfeld.

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