When asked how much he can accomplish in Russia “reset” without a good relationship with Putin, Obama said, “I don’t have a bad personal relation with Putin.”Such comments are likely not productive with any world leader but they are especially bad form when dealing with Russia. Russians are a proud people and, as a one-time superpower, they are exceptionally sensitive to issues of status and respect. Gratuitous personal insults, such as Obama's above, may cost America dearly.
“When we have conversations, they’re candid. They’re blunt. Oftentimes, they’re constructive. I know the press likes to focus on body language, and he’s got that kind of slouch, looking like the bored kid in the back of the classroom. But the truth is is that when we’re in conversations together, oftentimes it’s very productive,” the president said. [Emph. added]
Friday, August 09, 2013
Amateur Hour in the White House: Obama insults Putin