Monday night, US State Department Spokesperson Marie Harf was interviewed by Fox News anchor Megyn Kelly. Kelly’s trial attorney skills definitely helped her expose President Obama’s Iraq policy as tons of trashtalking.
This exchange happened early in the interview:
Megyn Kelly: Let me refresh the viewers that — it was just in January that this group just took over Fallujah and started flying the al-Qa’ida flag and the president was asked about that. And he told New York Magazine, I think it was, that, this is the analogy, that “This is the analogy we use around here sometimes, and I think it’s accurate, is if a jayvee team puts on Lakers jerseys, that doesn’t make them Kobe Bryant. Did he underestimate the threat?
Marie Harf: Not at all. Look, this is a threat we’ve been talking to the Iraqis and other partners in the region about for months. We talked about it just last November, before the comments you mentioned, with Prime Minister Maliki when he was here.
Ms. Harf was just caught in an impossible situation. A president who compares a terrorist organization with a jayvee team isn’t taking them seriously. Either that or he’s taking them seriously in private but he’s trashtalking them in public. That isn’t wise, either, because Maliki needs certainty from the United States.
Maliki isn’t getting that certainty from the United States, which is why Maliki is cozying up with the Iranians. They’re telling him that they’ll unconditionally stand with him. President Obama is telling him he’ll half-heartedly stand with Iraq if Iraq does what they’re told by the Obama administration.
Here’s another revealing exchange:
Megyn Kelly: Then why did President Obama refer to them as a group that’s jayvee?
Marie Harf: Well, it’s a group that’s changing. The terrorist threat changes on a week-by-week and month-by-month basis.
Megyn Kelly: Oh, come on. In January, they’re jayvee and now that we’re in June, they’re this devastating terrorist group that’s basically taken over Iraq?
Marie Harf: We have been very clear about the threat from ISIL but we have seen them grow in strength, mostly because of the situation in Syria. They have been able to gain strength there and, unfortunately, what we’ve seen from the Iraqi army surprised a lot of people and couldn’t stand up to the fight.
Most people would agree with Megyn Kelly that an administration that’s trashtalking a terrorist organization in January can’t credibly say that they’re now an elite fighting force in June. Military units improve but nobody thinks they improve that fast.
This is what happens when an administration with a reputation for trashtalking sends out a spokesperson in an attempt to fool a well prepared journalist. The well-intentioned spokesperson usually gets her head handed to her.