Obama Sasses Palin on Nuclear Policy


The best place for red meat this week is New Orleans, where leading conservatives are meeting at the Southern Republican Leadership Conference and taking their best shots at President Obama. But Obama is tossing some meat out there, too.

On Good Morning America today, George Stephanopoulos asked the president to comment on Sarah Palin's critique of his newly released Nuclear Posture Review. Predictably, Obama wasn't a fan: "I really have no response to that. Last I checked, Sarah Palin's not much of an expert on nuclear issues."

At WhoRunsGov's Plum Line blog, Greg Sargent first criticized and then lauded Stephanopolous for asking about the quote: "After initially thinking Stephanopoulos's question was daft, I actually find this persuasive. After all, it's true that Palin has a strong following among Republicans right now, many of whom apparently take her foreign-policy and national-security views seriously. It's also true, as farfetched as it may seem, that she has at least a shot at becoming the 2012 nominee. So her views do, in fact, matter!" NEWSWEEK's Ben Adler had a little back and forth this week with Sargent in this space, focusing on Rudy Giuliani's critique of the NPR. Ben concluded that outlandish (and sometimes factually incorrect) statements like Giuliani's or childish ones like Palin's only have a place in the news if you accept the polarized red-vs.-blue paradigm for covering news issues.

But it's worth pointing out that there isn't really one single GOP point of view in this case. Palin has been one of the more strident critics of the NPR, but other Republicans have taken a different tack. For example, former George W. Bush adviser Peter Feaver, who helped to design and sell the Iraq surge, writes in an op-ed in The New York Times today that the new policy isn't nearly as radical as either the Obama administration or its hawkish critics would have us believe.