On Wednesday night’s episode of The Rachel Maddow Show, host Rachel Maddow saved the last segment to highlight some of the President’s greatest comic insult moments. Among those moments, she showed President Obama’s recent ‘interview’ on ‘Between Two Ferns’, the President tearing into Donald Trump at the White House Correspondents Dinner in 2011, POTUS tossing a nice little barb at Mitch McConnell at the 2013 dinner and President Obama making himself laugh when discussing Mitt Romney in 2012.
Maddow pointed out these moments as a way to setup what the President did in Europe this week. During a news conference at The Hague on Tuesday, ABC’s Jonathan Karl attempted to corner Obama, as well as make Romney look good in hindsight, by asking the President if Mitt Romney was right in 2012 when he said that Russia was America’s greatest political foe. As Maddow helpfully underscored, the President used that opportunity to use his extremely sharp insult skills to take Vladimir Putin down a notch or three.
The way Maddow stated it, the President threw some ‘serious Presidential shade’ at Putin by declaring that Russia is a regional power. Obama also pointed out that Russia is only threatening its neighbors out of a position of weakness rather than strength, as they are concerned about their waning influence in the region and the world. POTUS accurately stated that the US is not looking to invade any of its immediate neighbors to maintain its influence on them or force a cooperative relationship.
President Obama reasserted this point the next day during an address in Brussels. The President stated that this is not the beginning of another Cold War. Russia is essentially not a superpower anymore, as they do not lead a bloc of nations and do not have a global ideology that a large number of other countries wish to follow or emulate. Once again, the President was pointing his insult gun directly at Putin and blasting away, essentially calling him weak and ineffectual.
While President Obama’s biggest critics back at home have taken aim at him regarding this crisis in Ukraine, stating that he is weak and timid and that his foreign policy is the cause of Russia invading and taking over Crimea, the President showed the world that it is really Putin that is in the position of weakness. Knowing that Vladimir Putin is a vain man of the highest degree, Obama attacked him where it would hurt the most — Putin’s ego. Essentially, President Obama brushed off his shoulder and said that Putin is a nobody.
Once again, the President is two steps ahead of everybody here. While conservatives in his home country are criticizing him for not considering military action against Russia, and referring to Putin as a true leader and figure of strength, Obama goes in front of the international community and calmly dismisses Russia as a ‘regional power’ of no real consequence. In one fell swoop, he hurts Putin to the core while making his critics look like idiots for admiring a small, vain little man like Putin.
Justin Baragona is the Managing Editor at Politicus Sports as well as Senior Editor at PoliticusUSA. He was a political writer for 411Mania.com before joining PoliticusUSA. Politically, Justin considers himself a liberal but also a realist and pragmatist. Currently, Justin lives in St. Louis, MO and is married. Besides writing, he also runs his own business after spending a number of years in the corporate world. You can follow Justin on Twitter either with his personal handle (@justinbaragona) or the Sports site’s (@PoliticusSports).