President Obama and the Effort to Find Common Ground
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It's reported today that -- before Iran's disputed election — the Obama Administration sent a letter to the Supreme Leader proposing “cooperation in regional and bilateral relations.” Today, we talk about the President's pattern of seeing “common ground” with his adversaries. Also, more bloodshed on the streets of Tehran, and South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford explains why he left the state without telling anyone else.
Banner image: Speaking during yesterday's press conference, President Barack Obama flatly denied interfering in Iran's affairs, but denounced the crackdown on post-election protests and insisted authorties there "must govern through consent, and not coercion." Photo: Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty Images
More Reports of Violent Clashes in Iran ()
There are reports today of more bloody repression on the streets of Tehran. In a cell-phone conversation, a 20-something student told CNN's Ivan Watson that "security forces are shooting on people…this was a massacre…they were beating people so they would die…you should stop this, you should help the people of Iran who demand freedom." Kevin Sullivan is the foreign editor of the Washington Post.
President Obama and the Effort to Find Common Ground ()
Yesterday, President Obama toughened his language against political repression by the government of Iran. Today, more bloody violence is being reported. The President has tried to keep open the prospect of dialogue about nuclear development and other issues, but critics now call that policy "dead." Was it a mistake to try to find common ground? Is there any hope that the US can protect demonstrators or persuade Iran to change its ways? What do these events reveal about the President's overall strategy, for domestic issues as well as foreign affairs?
- David Sanger: Washington Correspondent, New York Times, @SangerNYT
- E.J. Dionne: Senior Fellow, Brookings Institution, @EJDionne
- Michael Goldfarb: Online Editor, Weekly Standard
- Jonathan Chait: Senior Editor, The New Republic, @jonathanchait
- John "Rick" MacArthur: Publisher, Harper's magazine
South Carolina Governor Turns up in Argentina ()
South Carolina's Republican Governor made national headlines when he refused to accept federal stimulus money. Now Mark Sanford is famous for being absent without leave. Last Thursday, he disappeared without telling anyone where he was going — not Lieutenant Governor Andre Bauer, not his staff, not even his wife. Today he had an explanation. Lee Bandy, who's covered South Carolina politics for 40 years, is now retired from The State newspaper.
- Lee Bandy: Political Columnist, The State
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