Vladimir Putin is getting assurances about policies to come in Obama’s second term. Are you?
In particular, President Obama appears to be assuring the Russians that if he is reelected, he may be more flexible in negotiating missile defense issues.
SEOUL, South Korea — At the tail end of his 90 minute meeting with Russian President Dmitri Medvedev Monday, President Obama said that he would have “more flexibility” to deal with controversial issues such as missile defense, but incoming Russian President Vladimir Putin needs to give him “space.”
The exchange was picked up by microphones as reporters were let into the room for remarks by the two leaders.
President Obama: On all these issues, but particularly missile defense, this, this can be solved but it’s important for him to give me space.
President Medvedev: Yeah, I understand. I understand your message about space. Space for you…
President Obama: This is my last election. After my election I have more flexibility.
President Medvedev: I understand. I will transmit this information to Vladimir.
One message to the voters at home, an entirely different message to leaders abroad… from a president who declared in 2008 that his true rival in the presidential race was cynicism itself.