Dept. of Overpaid Hacks

At the gym yesterday, I saw John King on CNN interviewing his usual panel of talking heads about Obama's diplomatic relationship with Hugo Chavez. The sound was off, and I didn't feel compelled to spend too much time squinting at the closed captioning. However, between David Gergen and some guy with good hair from the Weekly Standard, I got the distinct impression that Obama had made some kind of concession to Chavez (a loathsome and inflammatory character), which is a disappointing prospect. Gergen and the other guy were holding forth on how it was a sign of Obama's inexperience, yadda yadda yadda, so I figured it had to be some kind of actual policy change in question. Then I returned to blasting my lats. (Well, not really, but it's such fun to write.)

Actual policy change? Not so much, it turns out. It appears that the problematic behavior on Obama's part was smiling and shaking Chavez's hand at the Summit of the Americas. From Politico (via Washington Monthly):
Gingrich appeared on a number of morning talk shows comparing Obama to President Jimmy Carter for the smiling, hearty handshake he offered Chavez, one of the harshest critics of the United States, during the Summit of the Americas.
That's right, ladies and gentlemen. Obama declined to publicly snub the man. Click here to see for yourselves.

I mean, seriously. That??!? That is the sum total of Obama's inexperience-related misstep? Really? Because, if so, then maybe John King should spend next week re-shellacking his hair, which would probably be a more worthwhile way to spend the time than his work as part of the "best political team on television."


  1. Mr. Chavez draws political strength by opposing America, so Mr. Obama's reasonable behavior here is rather shrewd IMHO. He just shook hands and smiled. I'm as puzzled about this being 'naive' as you are.

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