Sen. Obama is on both sounder and softer ground with regard to John F. Kennedy. The new president held a summit meeting with Soviet leader Nikita Khruschev in Vienna in June, 1961.
Elie Abel, who wrote a history of the Cuban missile crisis (The Missiles of October), said the crisis had its genesis in that summit.
“There is reason to believe that Khrushchev took Kennedy’s measure in June 1961 and decided this was a young man who would shrink from hard decisions,” Mr. Abel wrote. “There is no evidence to support the belief that Khrushchev ever questioned America’s power. He questioned only the president’s readiness to use it. As he once told Robert Frost, he came to believe that Americans are ‘too liberal to fight.'”
…It’s worth noting that Kennedy then was vastly more experienced than Sen. Obama is now. A combat veteran of World War II, Jack Kennedy served 14 years in Congress before becoming president. Sen. Obama has no military and little work experience, and has been in Congress for less than four years.
If we elect someone as callow as Obama, maybe Khrushchev will be proven right.
[Update a little later]
Heh. Suitably Flip has a new lapel pin for Barack:
[Late afternoon update]
Now he can’t even make up his mind. I guess he was for the unconditional meeting before he was against it.