The live microphone in Seoul that picked-up President Obama sending a private message to Putin that he needed "space" that he would have after the election for "flexibility" with Russia over missile defense will be a big election issue, not matter how valiantly the mainstream media avert their eyes or downplay the remark (if they report it at all). It firs right into the narrative Mitt Romney, the likely nominee, is constructing. Andrew Malcolm of Investor's Business Daily explains what it will look like::
Given the spending, chronic ineptness and apologies for America, can you imagine what Barack Obama would do in a second term unrestrained by any need to face voters ever again?
That's an effective line because it leaves the worst things possible to voters' imagination. And there is no response. What can Obama say, "My secret plans aren't as bad as you think."
What makes Obama's Monday blunder so bad is that it doesn't come from any sort of dismissable ignorance by someone who spent formative childhood years in Indonesia. It was clearly backstage conniving on Obama's part and feeds directly into Romney's 'Can you imagine' line.
Obama has a very sorry record in diplomacy, aggravated by the pose he adopted of "smart diplomacy," which has turned out very badly. As Malcom posits:
About 30 months ago with no Russian concessions, as part of his vaunted "reset" of relations with Moscow, Obama unilaterally caved on the planned missile defense system in Eastern Europe as a gift. The system was to protect against missiles from Iran, but Russia saw them as a threat to its regional hegemony and strategic interests.