Roger L. Simon

Obama: not ready for prime time

Perhaps Barack Obama thinks he’s cool… or maybe a vote-getter…. by opening his mouth about talking without pre-condition to Castro, Ahmadinejad, etc. And maybe he is – the latter anyway. He obviously knows how to collect donations. But his naivety is extraordinary. At least I hope it’s naivety and not something worse. Because the thought of the first African-American President sitting down to polite public conversation with this century’s most prominent Holocaust-denier raises a large number of hackles on the neck of this onetime civil rights worker – a very large number. [Calm down, fella, you’re getting angry.-ed. No kidding.]

But beyond the creepy racial overtones, one wonders if Obama knows anything about what is really going on. Does he know the state of negotiations with any of these nations? Did he know the state of play with Libya when Qaddafi recently walked back on nuclear weapons? I rather doubt it, because as most grownups realize, negotiations with crazy fascist dictators are usually best conducted in private. Public negotiations are at best a grandstand play.

And that is what Obama is doing – playing to the grandstand. I’m scared of someone who thinks that way in the presidency in a way that Hillary could never scare me.