The brilliant Charles Krauthammer on Obama:
Obama and his defenders here are really a piece of work. Remember how all this started — we saw it earlier in the show in the clip in which he answered the question in that debate, would you speak with these thugs who run Cuba, Venezuela, Iran, et cetera.
He said yes, and then he immediately said that he was saying this because it is, quote, "a central diplomatic principle of this administration not to talk to them," and that, he then said, is ridiculous and disgraceful. That was in his answer.
He has repeated that in one form or another at least 20 times over the course of this campaign. So he makes it an issue of an attack on the Bush administration and its diplomacy, and if the president defends himself and defends the policy of not speaking with these thugs, all of a sudden it's illegitimate, disgraceful, and unworthy of the president.
Of course he should defend himself on this, and of course he should include Obama with Jimmy Carter, who spoke with Hamas, and with Pelosi, who went cap in hand to Damascus and spoke with Assad.
And the question John McCain asks is a good one — what exactly is he going to say to these thugs that has not already been said? If he doesn't have anything new to say, then a trip to Iran or a negotiation with Ahmadinejad is an exercise in redundancy, and in honoring him.
And if he has new stuff to say, what is it going to be? It's not going to be more sticks. He is not going to be tougher on Iran than Bush and Cheney. It's going to be carrots.
So let's ask Obama — are you going to offer Iran Lebanon? Are you going to offer sway over Iraq? Are you going to offer it domination of the Gulf? Or are you are going to offer it America squeezing Israel?
So it is about appeasement, and Israel is a place in which he wants to make that statement...
...Obama took [Bush's statement] as an attack on him. Obama has a problem. He says he will not speak with Hamas because it engages in terror.
On the other hand, he wants a direct diplomacy with Iran, which is the world's most proliferate, prodigious supporter of state terror. And if you have that contradiction, you've got to explain it.
Obama at the beginning made a gaffe in answering that question. He knew he was stuck. He made it into a policy, and now it's a doctrine, and he's got to explain it, and he can't.
He may not be able to explain it, but he can certainly whine and cry about it.