Betting on sweet reasonableness from Iran’s leaders has already impaled the Administrations of Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan. Could it be about to injure the aborning candidacy of Barack Obama? By endorsing diplomacy with Iran, the freshman Senator from Illinois assumes a political burden of proof. Evidence of treachery or deceit by the Iranian government will lend fuel to Hillary’s contention that he is in over his head and does not understand the real world of power politics. It is always easier to defend not taking a major step in diplomacy than to argue for it, particularly when you don’t control the State Department, the CIA, or any of the levers of power and information.
Superficially, just as Nixon found the solution to Vietnam in his dialogue with China, Obama may hope to unearth the answer to Iraqi and Mid-Eastern instability by a conversation with Iran. But Nixon kept his plan “secret” until after he was elected. Obama is floating his right out front.
And his proposal comes at a poor time. Hillary is on the ropes after her last debate performance and all eyes are focused on whether she is being evasive or doubletalking. Obama, Edwards, and Dodd — the tag team — should just get out of her way and let her talk herself to death.
Now Hillary can and likely will change the subject and hit Obama over Iran. She needs to change the subject very badly and Obama may have just made it possible for her to do so.