Style points? Seriously? Style points? That’s what President Obama thinks the criticism of his zigzag Syria policy amounts to?
As presidential spin, this is insulting. As presidential conviction — if this is what he really believes — it’s scary.
Obama’s dismissive remarks came in response to a question from ABC’s George Stephanopoulos, who asked the president about criticisms of his approach as ad hoc, improvised and unsteady.
“Folks here in Washington like to grade on style,” Obama sniffed. “And so had we rolled out something that was very smooth and disciplined and linear, they would have graded it well, even if it was a disastrous policy. We know that, ’cause that’s exactly how they graded the Iraq war until it ended up blowing [up] in our face.”
Indeed, Obama portrayed capital insiders’ scorn as a badge of honor. “What it says is that I’m less concerned about style points; I’m much more concerned about getting the policy right,” he continued, taking credit for Syria having acknowledged its possession of chemical weapons and agreeing to put them under international control. “That’s my goal,” he said. “And if that goal is achieved, then it sounds to me like we did something right.”