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Faced with criticism over the ACA, the president first tried to change the subject by embarking on a series of speeches on, wait for it....... Immigration. To get away from the friction over health care, he picks the one other topic that is sure to bring a collective surge in blood pressure, albeit to a slightly different constituent group. Not only is the public, or at least some part of it, incensed about the government's lack of action in enforcing our borders, but by proposing a program of amnesty for the illegals is heaping fuel on the fire. If he was trying to cast himself in a more favorable light, his meeting last week with a group of fasting demonstrators on the National Mall may have shifted the focus, but sure didn't raise the multiple on his stock as his approval ratings headed south. Moreover, the general consensus among the lefties is that what is needed to "reform" immigration,is a huge piece of comprehensive legislation. We are sure that congress will be receptive to that, right? . Where is Nancy Pelosi when you need her?
So facing a tough crowd at home, the Obama brain trust has now decided to look to diplomatic affairs as an arena in which to put up a winning score. This choice, however, comes with some risk. His first Secretary of State racked up thousands of frequent flier miles but was unable to score any big points. The now famous RESET button with Russia's Putin didn't fly and her bungling performance over the Benghazi tragedy highlighted her well-practiced refusal to take responsibility in tough situations. Enter her successor, John Kerry, who swooped into Paris to help the Iranians land a flimsy agreement, not generally seen as much of a hindrance to their nuclear ambitions. Hint: don't ask the Israelis or the Saudis what they think of it.
So as the clock winds down (we wish, he's got three more years) the pres has had to go deep into his bench to find, smilin' Joe Biden, he of the big F***ing deal. Talk about an act of desperation. It seems, according to the Administration, that Old Joe is long-time pals with Chinese President, Xi Jinping. As we write, Joe is in Beijing trying to talk the Chinese down from it's new air-defense zone in the East China Sea, which has got Japan and others in a tizzy over the possibility of their aircraft encountering armed Chinese fighter jets enforcing the new zone. Appropriately the expectations of Joe's visit are minimal. And while the Administration has been sending mixed signals, Joe has been a tower of Jello in insisting that all the involved countries just need to talk to one another. Is it us, or does this smack of the Rodney King school of diplomacy, "Why can't we all just get along?"
The Wall Street Journal has an excellent ARTICLE on the issues surrounding Biden's trip to Beijing. And don't worry about upsetting our allies in the region, they will hardly know he was there.