Obama loosen up will you? Always need to be high-handed [stubborn, arrogant] in your leadership when you need opponents to work towards a common goal? First we all blamed Netanyahu in the failure to come to a working relationship, if not a friendship with the PM of our nearest ally in the Middle-East. On domestic issues, it’s those da*n Repugs who frustrate our principles of democracy to come with a compromise on key economic issues, executive appointments and legislation. Sure, you are not a wheeler-dealer like Lyndon Johnson in the “old days.” However on building a relationship with foreign leaders you qualify somewhere behind Jimmy Carter. An extra argument seen in Obama’s poor choice for Susan Rice and Samantha Power in the position of Ambassador to the UN.

In wishing Bush well, Putin has message for Obama

(Reuters) – Would a better relationship with Putin have made Obama take a different decision on attending the September talks in Moscow? Perhaps not, but a stronger rapport might have helped them avoid a situation where such a decision was even considered.

“Sometimes, at times of crisis, when diplomats fail to reach a compromise, personal relationships can be important, as a last resort … There is a lack of personal chemistry between Obama and Putin,” said Maria Lipman, a Russian analyst at the Moscow Carnegie Center think tank.


Bush’s good start with Putin at talks in the Slovenian capital, Ljubljana, followed four months later by a meeting at Bush’s Texas ranch, stands in contrast to the difficult beginning of the Obama-Putin relationship.

When Obama came to Russia in July 2009, Putin was prime minister but still the dominant figure in Russia under the presidency of his protege Dmitry Medvedev, and the former KGB spy invited Obama to his dacha, or country house.

“We may not end up agreeing on everything, but I think that we can have a tone of mutual respect and consultation that will serve both the American people and the Russian people well,” Obama told Putin.

Diplomatic sources said that despite this, Putin went on to give Obama a political lecture and they failed to break the ice. Russian officials, however, say Obama was frosty and has always been high-handed.

The relationship has never developed into a friendship, with Obama appearing to find more in common with the relatively liberal Medvedev. During Putin’s re-election campaign in 2012, he accused the United States of funding his opponents.

The relationship is also a far cry from the back-slapping bonhomie between Bill Clinton and Boris Yeltsin in the 1990s, when their rapport survived their countries’ differences during crises such as the collapse of former Yugoslavia into war.  

From my diary during Obama’s 2009 Moscow visit …
The Clinton-Lavrov commission a new forum reminiscent of the so-called Gore-Chernomyrdin commission, which managed relations between the governments of Bill Clinton and Boris Yeltsin. A report in 2011 by the Carnegie Endowment Fund – U.S.-Russian Relations and the Bilateral Presidential Commission.