If David Gergen
makes this point, you know it has to resonate: He notes that the first Kennedy-Khrushchev meeting didn't go well for our side: The Premier of the USSR thought our new president was weak. This had consequences. Gergen says this is relevant to Obama's visit with China's Hu:
"Obama went into those sessions like Kennedy: with great hope that his
charm and appeal to reason - qualities so admired in the United States
- would work well with Hu. By numerous accounts, that is not at all
what happened: reports from correspondents on the scene are replete
with statements that Hu stiffed the President, that he rejected
arguments about Chinese human rights and currency behavior while
scolding the U.S. for its trade policies, and that he stage-managed the
visit so that Obama - unlike Clinton and Bush before him - was unable
to reach a large Chinese audience through television."
Much is being said along similar lines about his visit to China; even the MSM calls it short on accomplishments, no press conference with questions from the press in China (see WaPo
for example), etc. There is more than "weakness" being revealed here. This is what happens when our president thinks that leadership is nothing more than being a world-historical individual or an interpretation of world opinion (we are what we have been waiting for, etc.) and therefore reveals himself--at each step, with each action, and even with words he uses in (rare) press conferences--not to be a statesman, but rather a progressive leader. This is now obvious and it's meaning is being caught by even the mainstream media. That is, does the president of the United States actually think that the movement of history has made China the new great (never mind good) force in the world and that we have to accommodate ourselves to them, because that is what declining powers are supposed to do? Statesmanship is not possible? Is this serious? For example, he doesn't understand that China is not as stable as the US. He doesn't understand that tyranny, even if wealthy, is a fragile thing, and that certain decisions (by the Chinese especially) can make it even more fragile. This is becoming clear. Too bad.