On Fox's Nov. 22 "Fox News Sunday," former "Special Report" anchor and Fox News senior political correspondent was dead spot on target in many regards when it came to criticizing the tack President Barack Obama has taken with his foreign policy gestures.
First, Hume reflected on how Obama reacted on his trip to Asia last week. He noted that Obama was in a tough position, having to rely on borrowed Chinese money. However, "embracing weakness" was not the proper way for Obama to represent the country in Hume's view (emphasis added).
"Look, the president is in a weaker position than he might have been, not least because his policies have contributed mightily to the immense amount of new borrowing that's being done, much of it from the Chinese," Hume said. "So now you have the Chinese even worried about the size of the health care plan. That is unfortunate. But this president seems quite willing to embrace weakness as a position for the United States. I mean, the bowing and scraping that we see -- Saudi Arabia we saw it. We saw it on this trip in Japan."
Hume called the President's reluctance to project power as the leader of the United States "exactly backwards" since the Chinese are in as an untenable position as the United States is in, relying on U.S. markets.
"These kind of gestures -- they wouldn't mean anything if they didn't seem to be of a piece with the general approach that the president has taken. I think that he thinks that if he is such a -- he is a nice man, with a magnetic personality, and if he can reason with these people and not try to throw his weight around, that they will respond to him," Hume continued. "That's exactly backward. The United States has some weight to throw around still with the Chinese. They need our market as much as we need their money to borrow. And he's not in as weak a position as he behaves. And I don't think it helps for him to do what he did on this trip and the results bear that out."
Another key focus of foreign policy the current administration has had to deal with has been the unwillingness of the Iranians to rein in their nuclear ambitions. Conventional wisdom suggested that with the United States backing off its missile defense policy in Eastern Europe, the Russians would be willing to step in and pressure Iran. That has not been the case according to "Fox News Sunday" host Chris Wallace.
"You know, it's interesting, Brit, when the president or the State Department announced that they were going to change their policy about an anti-missile defense in Europe, the thought was, ‘Well, down the line the Russians are going to come along and they're going to go -- they're going to come with us and impose sanctions on the Iranians,'" Wallace said. "We keep waiting for this policy of engagement to pay off."
Hume reiterated his point about America's place in the world. He called the President's policy maneuvering "determined weakness" (emphasis added).
"America is not what's wrong with the world," Hume said. "And a strong America, assertive in foreign policy, showing its strength, is good for the world, and it has a lot better effect on allies and enemies alike than what we're seeing now, this policy of almost determined weakness on the part of President Obama. Now, look. That decision you mentioned with the missile defense in Europe is militarily defensible. But it looked to all the world, and must have looked in the Kremlin, as if this was a capitulation. And these kinds of things add up over time."
And it's going to take more than charisma and popularity to gain strides in U.S. foreign policy, Hume added.
"And the president may think that because they think he's -- his -- the people love him, and he's a big rock star and a nice guy, and he's all respectful and bows to the -- bows from the waist to all of them, and that's all going to end up producing some result," Hume said. "It hasn't produced any, and I predict it will not produce any."