President Obama held a press conference today to first and foremost announce a change at the Department of Education where Secretary Artie Duncan is stepping aside at the end of the year. The bulk of the press conference, however, dealt with some more ‘heavyweight’ issues than cabinet moves. One of the more interesting parts of the conference is where President Obama, after criticizing Putin’s actions in Syria took aim and fired at the Russian leader directly.
“… Sometimes the conversation here in the beltway differs from the conversation internationally … Mr. Putin had to go into Syria not out of strength but out of weakness. His client, Mr. Assad was crumbling and it was insufficient to just send them arms and money. Now he has to send in his own planes and pilots. And the notion that he put forward a plan and somehow the international community sees that as viable cause there’s a vacuum there — I didn’t see after he made that speech he made at the United Nations the nations of the 60 nation coalition we have suddenly started lining up behind him. Iran and Assad make up Mr. Putin’s coalition at the moment. The rest of the world makes up ours.”
It seems despite what some on the right think, Obama doesn’t feel weak or outsmarted by Putin. Obama went on to point out how Putin’s moves could possibly make the situation worse. He finished by showing the many complexities of the situation — complexities the talking heads on the News usually don’t cover. At the very end, he offered what we can and will do in the immediate future along with some clues into future plans.
“Once we start something, we have to finish it — and we have to do it well.”
Check out the clip HERE;