Obama and Europe: The Cost of Coolness

Earlier posts have criticized President Obama for his minimalist foreign policy vision (here and here) and lack of leadership skills.  But it’s also worth noting that some of his multiplying problems overseas have to do with his aloof personality and inability to forge strong personal relationships with international counterparts.

I’ve highlighted this deficiency before and connected it to the stark deterioration of U.S.-Afghan relations.  But further evidence came a few weeks ago when former German defense minister Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg told CNN’s Christine Amanpour that Mr. Obama is “probably the most detached president [in] decades” and is “not seemingly capable to communicate properly on an eye-to-eye level with other heads of state.”  Speaking of the current turbulence in U.S.-German affairs, Guttenberg noted that there is “a level of mistrust that needs to be fixed, and it needs to be fixed from Washington.” Continue reading