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Pure spin

I'm not sure who Christi Parsons is other than the person who's byline accompanied the following piece I found not in the opinion section but in the news section of my local paper.  I'll excerpt parts of it, you let me know whether news is being reported or an opinion is being rendered:

President Barack Obama played a game of doubles table tennis alongside British Prime Minister David Cameron in London the other day, in a display of awkward athleticism that ended when it was apparent they couldn't beat their opponents - a pair of middle-school boys.

Yet they let the unguarded moment play out on television, an unrehearsed pas-de-deux the likes of which never took place on camera during Obama's first presidential tour of Europe, a voyage marked by its careful orchestration.

...

"He's not the junior person anymore," said Steve Flanagan, a Europe specialist and senior vice president of the Center for Strategic and International Studies. "He has gained a lot of credibility for things he has done and for his general message about how he wants to engage with the rest of the world."

Obama's speech May 19 pressuring Israelis to return to the negotiating table with Palestinians appears to have given him more heft even in the last week, Flanagan said, as shown by the willingness of European leaders to hold off expressing support for the Palestinians' intention of asking for United Nations' recognition of a Palestinian state.

Yet when he arrived back in Washington on Saturday, Obama returned to the reality that, regardless of his popularity in Europe, his domestic audience is a fickle one. Americans expect their president to be a force on the world stage, but a strong standing there won't guarantee his re-election.

...


Advisers who were in the room for Obama's one-on-one talks during his six-day trip described conversations that suggest his relationships with European allies have deepened.

Obama's conversations with Russian President Dmitry Medvedev stood out in particular, as candid photos from inside showed the men laughing with each other. One aide said the two men were joking about mutual acquaintances, though they wouldn't say which world leader, if any, was being discussed.

Yet neither man felt the need to paste on smiles as they emerged for statements to the media, adopting grim visages and a stiffness that made some observers wonder what had gone wrong. It was hot in the room, a close adviser said, and the two had wrestled over the missile defense system that the U.S. wants to build in Europe but which worries the Russians.

One White House official characterized the disagreement as a sign of the maturity of the relationship between the two men.

"The reason that they can talk about the issues they're talking about now is because of the amount of time they've invested in that personal relationship," said Ben Rhodes, deputy national security advisor to the president. "It was only because of the rapport they built up with each other in negotiating the (new) START treaty and working through a range of issues in 2009."

There were other signs of Obama's growing comfort.

He lingered over a Guinness beer at a pub in Ireland, and laughed off a bit of confusion when he was in the middle of a toast to the queen of England and the band began to play, sounding like an orchestra nudging a long-winded Oscar winner off the stage.

He greeted a few leaders with slaps on the back. He went into a news conference without a card to prompt him on reporters' names. In one G-8 session, he was seen chewing gum.

It's hard to tell what Obama's growing ease on the world stage means for U.S. interests. He and Medvedev may never achieve an agreement on the missile defense issue before one, or both, leaves office.

If the vision Obama tried to promote for supporting democracy in the Middle East and North Africa comes to pass, it will be years in the making and won't necessarily be traced back to the G-8 meetings in Deauville.

But the Russian and American teams now have more than 20 working groups that could eventually bear fruit, if only because the two countries continue to talk. This week, for example, Medvedev decided to help the international community in its talks with Libya, where Russia still has contacts. And Medvedev said for the first time that Libyan dictator Moammar Gadhafi must leave power, an added weight on the beleaguered regime.

An open line of communication with Russia also could ease security concerns in Poland, the final stop on Obama's tour this week.

After Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk had his one-on-one meeting with the president, he told Obama, "You are proverbial."

With that kind of feedback, it's not surprising Obama had a bounce in his step last week.

And clearly, Ms. Parsons is doing her part in ensuring he keeps that bounce in his step and that it translates into a bounce in the polls.  This piece isn't about reporting the news, it's about spinning it. 

You can't help but wonder what Ms. Parsons payback from the Obama campaign might be.  Clearly she deservers compensation.


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Comments (9)

A reporter writing a puff p... (Below threshold)
Chico:

A reporter writing a puff piece for the prez, wow that never happened before.

Reporters are mostly suck-ups, that's how they got to Columbia J-school. They want to be in with the cool kids on Air Force One.

Only a few like Matt Taibbi don't care if they piss people off.

"A reporter writing a puff ... (Below threshold)
Sep14:

"A reporter writing a puff piece for the prez, wow that never happened before."

I know. Happened for slick Willie all the time.

The MSM is biased, it's cor... (Below threshold)

The MSM is biased, it's corrupt.

Power corrupts and the MSM is still very powerful.

"Yet when he arrived back i... (Below threshold)
DaveD:

"Yet when he arrived back in Washington on Saturday, Obama returned to the reality that, regardless of his popularity in Europe, his domestic audience is a fickle one."

Well, a guy can be a real fun person to be hangin' out with at the local pub but there is a chance that may not count for much with his boss.

"It's hard to tell what ... (Below threshold)
jim m:

"It's hard to tell what Obama's growing ease on the world stage means for U.S. interests."

Really? He's now "at ease" with making a fool of himself and a hash of America's interests abroad? He's "at ease" with being snubbed by Lech Walesa, one of the most significant Eastern European leaders of the last quarter century? He's at ease with being refused invitations to state events that other nations are given automatically (ie the royal wedding)? He's at ease with Canada (perennial minor player on the world stage) telling him that his Middle East policy is crap and a total non-starter?

It's not hard to tell what this means: It means growing isolation for the US and an increasing inability to influence the events on the world stage to the benefit of the American people. That's what it means.

"He lingered over a Guin... (Below threshold)
jim m:

"He lingered over a Guinness beer at a pub in Ireland,"

Where he bungled by saying that Ireland had been occupied by England, ignoring the fact that by that reasoning, England still occupies a portion of Ireland.

"and laughed off a bit of confusion when he was in the middle of a toast to the queen of England "

Where he managed to give a toast where everyone made it a point not to drink.

"Obama's speech May 19 pressuring Israelis to return to the negotiating table with Palestinians appears to have given him more heft"

So much more that Lech Walesa refused to meet with him and that Canada vetoed any action at the G8 affirming his bullshit ideas.

"Obama's conversations with Russian President Dmitry Medvedev stood out in particular, as candid photos from inside showed the men laughing with each other. ...He and Medvedev may never achieve an agreement on the missile defense issue before one, or both, leaves office."

Yes, discussions wherein Medvedev told obama that the previous capitulation on European missile defense was not sufficient and that further concessions from the US would be necessary to avoid a renewed arms race.

"You are proverbial."

Perhaps this just meant that his reputation (for being a total ass) preceded him.

They're still publishing lo... (Below threshold)
Tsar Nicholas II:

They're still publishing local newspapers??

No wonder he and the press ... (Below threshold)

No wonder he and the press are feeling good about his performance he offended and was rebuked publicly by the 'leaders' of Israel and Poland, two countries that they couldn't hold in lower regard.

Sounds to me that someone p... (Below threshold)
cali:

Sounds to me that someone participated in Kindergarten cass named 'Show and tell'!




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