3 Important Reasons That The Obama-Putin Call Is A Complete Non-Story

Top of Drudge right now is the huge story that today President Obama phoned Russia’s past/future President Vladimir Putin:


Drudge Obama Putin

Drudge is linking to this Weekly Standard story, which cites CBS’s Mark Knoller as saying Barack Obama phoned Putin to “congratulate” him on his recent election win.

The implication, of course, is that this is bad because Putin’s election, not to mention his entire political career, is believed by many as fraudulent. Putin is seen (rightly in our opinion) as an authoritarian leader who stifles democratic movements in Russia.

Three important points about this:

  1. Obama called Putin 5 days after it was announced he had won the election. That’s actually a pretty big snub.
  2. There’s a difference between calling someone and calling someone to congratulate them. Knoller describes it as a call to “congratulate”, but only in a Tweet. Maybe it was, but other reports suggest that Obama’s administration has gone to lengths to avoid describing it in such terms.
  3. Obama had to call Putin at some point. Russia is one of the world’s largest economies and Obama has worked hard on a “reset” for Russian-US relations. By this point many other world leaders have already called the Russian leader, some offering much clearer “congratulations”.

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