Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Can Obama Lead in the Real World on Fox News Strategy Room

One of my favorite media activities is to spend time on FoxNews.com Strategy Room. Eric Bolling hosted my time on and, as usual, we literally covered the entire map of headlines, with a heavy focus on international affairs.

One of the brilliant ideas behind Strategy Room is that its panelists are made up of well informed policy generalists -- a dying breed in media, but one of the most important if the objective is to provide a contextual understanding of what is going on in current events. It provides a well informed discussion that the general viewer can appreciate.

This week's big focus was how Barack Obama was handling international affairs. Of particular interest was Obama's encounter with Hugo Chavez of Venezuela. Most Americans were shocked by the warm "Kodak moment" between the leader of the free world and a vicious dictator. The panel's assessment was largely negative, but ranged from the more benign "sophomoric," to one of being revealing of Obama's view of the dictator. Some simply stated he "didn't know what he was doing" and he approaches things as an "academic." I believe that he approaches the job with one of the most frightening examples of "on the job training" I have seen and, at least appeared as a man who felt some affection for Chavez. To make matters worse, 24 hours later Obama allowed himself to pose with Chavez giving him a book that decries the US role in Latin America (“The Open Veins of Latin America: Five Centuries of the Pillage of a Continent,” by Eduardo Galeano). The old adage "first time, shame on you; second time, shame on me" certainly would have worked for him this week.

Strategy Room also discussed the problem of Iran's development of a nuclear missile program and the fact that the days before Israel takes unilateral action are numbered. Simply put, Iran President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has made it clear, he believes Israel is a nation that should not exist. Israel cannot afford to do nothing while Iran becomes more dangerous. In our discussion we reviewed the fact that we do have history of Israel taking a similar action (in 1981 against Iraq for the same reason s as they would attack Iran) and that although the world largely complained, the US grumbled lightly and gave a collective sigh of relief. In 1981, Israel only had to fly through Iraq's air space. To attack Iran, it is believed they will have to fly through Iraq's air space again, which is now under US control. How will Obama respond to unilateral action? Candidate Obama made it clear that the protection of Israel is a US priority, but he has done nothing to remove the pressure on Israel to take action (which would be in the best interest of the entire Middle East). George Bush didn't help in this area either and every request Israel made on both Presidents have fallen on deaf ears. Conclusion? Obama is too much of an unknown, he is clearly inexperienced, and none of the panelists wanted to make a leap and determine what this Administration will do in regards to Iran.

Strategy Room is one of the most diverse and entertaining news programs on any platform: TV radio, or online. It is because of its slate of great hosts and eclectic group of panelists that thousands regularly gather around their computer screens, rather than their televisions.

Kevin Price is Host of the Price of Business, the longest running show on CNN 650 (M-F at 11 am), AOL Radio, and CBS Radio. Eric Bolling of Fox News and Fox Business says that Price’s Blog “is very influential and moves the blogosphere.” Steve Moore of the Wall Street Journal calls Price the “best business talk show host in the country.” Find out why and visit his blog at www.BizPlusBlog.com and his show site at www.PriceofBusiness.com. You can also find Price on Strategy Room at FoxNews.com.

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