My weekly appearance on The Hugh Hewitt Show chanced this week to follow a rare appearance by Barack Obama at the White House. He happened to have a couple of hours between the golf game and the fundraiser, and so thought he might as well climb into the lightweight suit and make a statement about Putin, Iraq and all the other peripheral stuff President Tee-Time doesn't usually have time for. This was his position on ISIS:
We don't have a strategy yet.
As Vlad and the mullahs and the ChiComs must be thinking: Wow! When he promised he'd be the most transparent administration in history, he wasn't kidding.
HUGH HEWITT: There you have it, Mark Steyn. We don't have a strategy, yet.
MARK STEYN: Yes, and that's true. Actually, I believe Churchill after the fall of France, went out and gave a press conference outside 10 Downing Street, where he announced that we don't have a strategy... I don't know whether that actually is the strategy, not to have a strategy, but just looking at the color of his suit, I think you would have concluded that this was a man without a strategy.
So then we discussed the suit for a bit, and whether a serious man should wear that color on television:
MS: I believe the last occasion I wore a suit that color was on a morning talk show in Australia with a lady called Kerri-Anne Kennerley, who's basically the Oprah of Australia. And I was appearing with some miniature highland cattle, and thought that if you're appearing with miniature highland cattle of a shaggy mien, then that color suit is appropriate. But as a suit for which the global superpower reacts to the incursion, as they say, intof Ukraine, and Americans signing up to die for ISIS, and all the other stuff that's going on, I would leave that suit for the Australian daytime talk show circuit.
But eventually we stopped talking about Obama's suit and moved back to less important matters, like his public announcement that Putin could pretty much do as he wishes in Ukraine:
We are not taking military action to solve the Ukrainian problem... It is not in the cards for us to see a military confrontation between Russia and the United States in this region. Keep in mind, however, that I'm about to go to a NATO conference. Ukraine is not a member of NATO, but a number of those states that are close by are. And we take our Article Five commitments to defend each other very seriously.
As I commented:
MS: Now if you're Estonia, would you, if you were the Estonian government, would you actually be reassured by that? And if you were Putin, if you were Putin sitting in the Kremlin, and you just wanted to mess with Obama, wouldn't you be slightly ever-so-tempted just to invade Estonia, just to see whether Obama follows through on that Article Five thing? And I think that's what's so weird about it. He's like the classic guy who stands up in public, and one way or another winds up saying the thing you intended not to say. So his reassurance to NATO in fact actually put a question mark over it.
Hugh also raised his remarkable interview with Mitt Romney, whose will-I-won't-I? tease on the 2016 campaign got cranked up a notch or two. I professed no great enthusiasm for this scenario and remarked:
MS: Forgive me looking at it from the foreigner's point of view, but one of the odd things about the system here is that the Democrats tend to wind up nominating sociopaths, and the Republicans tend to nominate rich guys. I mean, I'm generalizing here...
But only very slightly.
We also found time to discuss forthcoming Steyn musical albums, on which I'm almost as big a tease as Mitt.
The full interview is here.
PS Our headline comes courtesy, of course, of our old chums Anthony Newley and Leslie Bricusse.
UPDATE: Scaramouche takes the Sandy Man and makes him satisfying and delicious.
~Later this morning I'll be joining Michael Graham in Atlanta, and it will be a busy week for me radio-wise post-Labor Day, so stay tuned for details of that.