Since the media would doubtless answer that loaded question, "It depends on the president," let us imagine the following scenario.
Return to 2008, when candidate Barack Obama had served only about three years in the U.S. Senate, his sum total of foreign policy experience. And he was running against the overseas old-hand, decorated veteran, and national icon John McCain—a bipartisan favorite in Washington, D.C.
During the campaign, unfounded rumors had swirled about the rookie Obama that he might ease sanctions on Iran, distance the United States from Israel, and alienate the moderate Arab regimes, such as the Gulf monarchies and Egypt.
Stories also abounded that the Los Angeles Times had suppressed the release of a supposedly explosive "Khalidi tape," in which Obama purportedly thanked the radical Rashid Khalidi for schooling him on the Middle East and correcting his earlier biases and blind spots, while praising the Palestinian activist for his support for armed resistance against Israel.
Even more gossip circulated that photos existed of a smiling Barack Obama with Louis Farrakhan, the Black Muslim extremist and radical pro-Gaddafi patron, who in the past had praised Adolf Hitler and reminded the Jews again about the finality of being sent to the ovens. (A photo of a smiling Obama and Farrakhan did emerge, but mysteriously only after President Obama left office).
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