Americans Favor President Meeting With U.S. Enemies
A new Gallup poll shows that two thirds of Americans “believe the president of the United States should meet with the leaders of countries that are considered enemies of the United States.”
Lydia Saad, a friend of the family, analyzes this, reasonably enough, in terms of the 2008 election:
The issue of using presidential diplomacy with U.S. enemies distinguishes Barack Obama from the presumptive Republican presidential nominee, John McCain, and even from his opponent for the Democratic nomination, Hillary Clinton.
McCain may eventually persuade more Americans that there is nothing for the president of the United States to discuss with hostile foreign leaders like Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, and that to do so only undermines U.S. efforts to destabilize such regimes.
However, for now, whether it’s the leader of an “enemy” country, generally, or the president of Iran, specifically, Americans think it’s a good idea for the president of the United States to meet directly with the nation’s adversaries.
Of course, the actual debate is over whether such meetings should take place without preconditions, a position which even Obama has backed away from. But that’s a nuance that’s apparently lost on Gallup. Is it also lost on the American people?