MSNBC host and ardent Obama supporter Alex Wagner expressed tepid disappointment over the president’s “reactive” policy towards the Russian invasion of southern Ukraine, wondering if “perhaps his heart has never been in it.”
Wagner spoke with political analyst Mark Halperin about President Obama’s neglect of Eastern Europe, if not foreign policy in general.
“A lot has been said about the administration’s foreign policy in recent weeks, and especially in recent days, and a lot of it has been critical of the president,” she began. “And sort of of the camp that — you know, I’m not sure if the president could’ve done anything to prevent President Putin from doing what he was going to do — but it certainly puts the White House in a position where their foreign policy seems incredibly reactive, and has so for almost the recent past — I mean, years at this point.”
“We know the president has wanted to pivot to Asia,” the liberal news host continued, “but events beyond his control have forced him to look to the Middle East and to eastern Europe. And one gets the sense that, perhaps because his heart has never been in it, he hasn’t truly organized or articulated a foreign policy the way that he perhaps would if it was another region of the world.”
Halperin noted that “one of the benefits of the Cold War was foreign policy was relatively simple.” Now, the analyst claimed, “the U.S. needs Russia — on Syria, on Iran, on all sorts of things — and once you treat Putin as a reasonable actor, you have to treat him as a reasonable actor.”
“And now that may be changing,” Halperin added, “but up until now, the Olympics, the Syria negotiations — in every way Putin got that laying on hands to say, ‘You’re the leader of a great power and we’re going to treat you like a serious person.’”
“Now the president is starting to shift,” he continued, “but again, he’s been so far in with Putin — as was the previous administration — it’s difficult, symbolically and substantively, to suddenly say, ‘Now this guy is bad. This guy can’t be trusted, this guy can’t be believed.’”
Content created by The Daily Caller News Foundation is available without charge to any eligible news publisher that can provide a large audience. For licensing opportunities of our original content, please contact licensing@