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."
The more I think about it, the more trouble I'm having with it. In effect, Obama is saying that his stance on missile defense would cost him votes with the American people. After he's elected, he won't have to worry about what Americans want.
I long for presidents capable of being overheard telling Medvedev to "go to hell, we have every right to advance our security interests." I think any of the last dozen presidents were capable of it. All except Obama.
I say he does need flexibility after the election. Retirement should be the most flexible time of all.