Clinton Is Right: Obama Did Too Little, Too Late on Syria

Maureen Dowd: Bill Clinton has schooled Obama on the fallacy of governing via polls
By Ruth Brown,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 16, 2013 2:19 PM CDT
Clinton Is Right: Obama Did Too Little, Too Late on Syria
President Barack Obama steps to the microphone after being introduced by former President Bill Clinton.   (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)

News that both Bill Clinton and John McCain think Obama is being a wuss on Syria should be a wake-up call for the President, says Maureen Dowd in the New York Times. "When the man who polled where to take his summer vacation and whether to tell the truth about his affair with Monica Lewinsky tells you you’re a captive of polls, you’d better listen up," she writes. It's a lesson Clinton learned through Kosovo, Bosnia, and his inaction on Rwanda genocide. Once the damage has been done, you can't excuse your inaction by saying "Oh my God, two years ago there was a poll that said 80% of you were against it," Clinton reportedly said in a recent Q&A. "So you really have to in the end trust the American people, tell them what you’re doing, and hope to God you can sell it."

But even now Obama has offered a "pittance" of some small arms and ammunition for Syrian rebels, he's still failing to "sell it." His deputy national security adviser was the one who announced the plan, and even Obama himself has said it won't do anything but buy more time. "He seems incapable of getting in front of issues and shaping public and Congressional opinion with a strong selling job," Dowd writes. "The less Obama leads, the more likely it is that history will see him as a pallid interregnum between two chaotic Clinton eras." Click to read Maureen Dowd's full column at the Times. (Read more Maureen Dowd stories.)

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