The Campaign Spot

The Difference Between Presidents and Secretaries of State at Summits

I’m hearing from a reader or two who think I’m being unfair to Hillary defender Madeline Albright. These readers suggest Hillary’s position from last night is more responsible, because there’s a significant difference between a president having a face-to-face summit with a leader of a rogue state than a secretary of state.

But if the goal is to avoid providing a hostile state with material for propaganda, couldn’t a secretary of state’s visit just as easily be used for propoganda purposes by a regime’s leader?
Nah. Would never happen. And it clearly wouldn’t happen with other leading government officials…

  As I contemplate adding the caption, “Albright to Obama: Don’t do this” to the first picture, I can’t help but notice how happy these dictators look.
UPDATE: Whoops, forgot a few others. To Kerry’s, er, credit, this wasn’t in Tehran, Iran but in Davos, Switzerland.
kerry.jpgBy the way, is it just me, or is Kerry giving Iranian President Khatami his autograph?
I realize Jimmy Carter has his own wing in the Meeting With Dictators Hall of Fame, but with these two photos, we can illustrate that the dictators named in the YouTube video last night have met with a Democratic secretary of state, a Democratic speaker of the House, a Democratic presidential candidate (okay, Kerry’s meeting with one of Ahmedinijad’s predecessors) and a former Democratic president. At this point, meeting with a future President Obama would pretty much just be gilding the lily.
jimmy-carter-hugo-chavez.jpgAnd, rounding out the quintet…
Jimmy Carter and Fidel Castro in 2002At this point, those of us who don’t want to see American leaders schmoozing and playing footsie with dictators have to hope that instead of having Democratic lawmakers who want to avoid being accused of giving a propaganda victory to dictators, that we get a bunch of dictators who want to avoid being accused of giving a propaganda victory to Democratic lawmakers.

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