President Obama thinks he has been a good president. He says he would relish going against Donald Trump. And he believes he would win again, if he could run for a third term. The President in recent remarks overseas, first in Turkey and then in the Philippines, picked up on cues from the Republican candidates. Alexis Simendinger in RealClearPolitics argues that the president is not intent on giving up his presidential campaign-style aura. In fact, Simendinger casually mocks the over-confidence that the President displayed in his overseas comments attacking the Republican candidates.
1. President: its not about “playing” tough
2. Speaks as if he still in campaign mode
Via RealClearPolitics.com He can’t help himself. He has the job. A crowd of Republicans wants his job, and he finds their ideas “shameful,” “offensive,” and their rhetoric “posturing.”
Barack Obama may be cool about facing down the Islamic State, but he let off plenty of steam this week when talking about conservatives who say they would exterminate jihadists with bigger bombs and U.S. combat troops, out-negotiate Russian President Vladimir Putin, and keep America safer by closing its borders to Muslim refugees.
“These are the same folks oftentimes who suggest that they’re so tough that just talking to Putin or staring down ISIL, or using some additional rhetoric somehow is going to solve the problems out there,” the president said during remarks in Manila, Philippines, site of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Summit. “But apparently, they’re scared of widows and orphans coming into the United States of America as part of our tradition of compassion.”
Assailed by Republican candidates as a rudderless president who is stubbornly unwilling to reassess the administration’s strategy to defeat ISIS, Obama shed his no-drama façade and punched back.
“They’ve been playing on fear in order to try to score political points or to advance their campaigns,” he said for the second time in two days. “And it’s irresponsible. And it’s contrary to who we are. And it needs to stop, because the world is watching.”
Obama described the debate [over Syrian immigration to the U.S.] at home as politically motivated and tantamount to recruitment posters for ISIS, also known as ISIL or Daesh.
The president has also argued from time to time that he’s too busy with significant issues of governance, such as ratifying an international trade pact, finding a diplomatic solution to war in Syria, and locking in global climate change commitments, to focus on the 2016 race.
Obama put himself in the 2016 frame. “I would’ve enjoyed campaigning against Trump. That would’ve been fun,” he added. (Hillary Clinton has expressed similar relish.)
Clearly, Obama is not a disinterested observer disconnected from a high-stakes contest. In his mind, if he could run again, voters would keep him where he is. And there is a part of Obama that wouldn’t mind staying.
“I actually think I’m a pretty good president,” Obama said a few months ago. “I think if I ran, I could win. But I can’t.” Via RealClearPolitics.com