President Obama and his aides continue their efforts to sell the most hawkish Senators on his foreign policy being hawkish enough, but the private “wine and cheese” meetings officials have been holding don’t seem to be changing many minds.
Sen. Bob Corker (R – TN) termed the meeting he attended with Chief of Staff Denis McDonough “one of the most bizarre I’ve attended,” while others said they were baffled that officials would hold specific meetings to sell them on policies, while refusing to talk specifics on any of their plans.
Half of the invited Senate Republicans didn’t bother to show up to the White House meeting, but neither did President Obama, adding to the belief among many of the Senators that they are “out of the loop” on decisions.
The guest list was telling, as President Obama chose only to invite the most hawkish Congressmen from both parties, once again reflecting the very binary view of the American foreign policy debate presented in one of his speeches last month.
In that speech, Obama presented his own comparatively hawkish foreign policy as the bare minimum amount of wars, while accusing his critics of wanting more wars. That, it seems, is the gradient of acceptable foreign policy the administration sees, starting with its own policy and spanning only the more hawkish side of the equation, with those critical of the current level of wars as too much completely left out of the equation.