State Department spokesperson Jen Psaki argued that President Barack Obama “doesn’t give himself enough credit for what he’s done around the world” during a presser on Thursday. The assembled press corps’ reaction was priceless.
“I would argue the president doesn’t give himself enough credit for what he’s done around the world, and that’s how the secretary feels too,” the State Department spokesperson said. “We would not be engaged in comprehensive negotiations with Iran, which is where the program is stalled and is rolling back, if it were not for the role of the United States, along with the P-5 plus one partners, certainly.
“Ukraine, we’ve been engaged more or as much as any other country in the world in supporting the elections process and supporting the government and supporting their efforts moving forward,” she added. “Yes, there’s more work that needs to be done. The point is, we need to continue to stay at it.”
“Jen, you would argue the President doesn’t give himself enough credit,” one journalist repeated before inquiring, “How much credit would you give him?”
Mike Lee, a reporter for The Associated Press, interjected sarcastically, “What, like, 200 percent credit?”
“For engagement initiatives like Iran, what we’ve done on Ukraine, efforts to dive in and engage around the world,” she responded.
“I mean, Russia has still annexed Crimea … I mean, Iran — there’s ongoing negotiations, but is that the success here that you’re talking?” another reporter incredulously asked.
To that, Psaki responded, “We’re talking about engagement in the world and taking on tough issues that present themselves. And the United States continues to play a prominent role doing that.”
In essence, the President doesn’t want credit for actually accomplishing anything with his foreign policy initiatives—just for being engaged in the world.
On Wednesday, President Obama defended portions of his foreign policy during a commencement speech at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. The President also hinted at a foreign policy reset coinciding with the formal end of the Afghan war later this year.