Friday, November 12, 2010

NY Sun: Sarah Palin’s Seoul

Even the Obama-friendly left wing media was forced to admit that the president failed miserably at the G-20 summit. “Obama’s Economic View Is Rejected on the World Stage,” wrote the New York Times. “Zachary Karabell reports on Obama's mistake going into the summit,” read the subhead at the Daily Beast, which lamented the fact that the president’s letter to his foreign counterparts was doomed to “make things worse.” Obama couldn’t even manage to cut a free trade agreement with the host country of South Korea, a nation which in large measure owes its very existence to 60 years of support from the United States. Why did Obama strike out at the G-20? "It seems the skills and principles of a community organizer don’t translate well into the world of statecraft," opines today's editorial in the New York Sun:
So, just as a thought experiment here, let’s consider what might have happened had America been represented at the Group of 20 Summit not by a former community organizer but by a certain former governor of a state that, like South Korea itself, can see Russia from its door — and, in Free Korea's case, Communist China, too. The big news on the eve of the G20 was how upset our friends overseas are with the plan for a second round of money printing by the Federal Reserve. Mr. Obama took time out from his Asian travels to defend the weak-dollar policy. It turns out that the politician who challenged Mr. Bernanke most pointedly, and substantively, as the G20 was getting set for its meeting was none other than Mrs. Palin.

So one can speculate that had a President Palin been leading our delegation to Seoul, the monetary tensions would have been dissipated. The whole issue of a currency war — a competition over who can keep their currencies low and thus promote their own exports — would have been defanged. No doubt that had Mrs. Palin been leading our delegation in Seoul, her departure would have been preceded by a wave of warnings in the liberal press about our country’s trade deficit. The conceit is that we need to devalue the dollar in order to make it more attractive for foreigners to buy American products.

Mrs. Palin, however, has a plank in her political campaign that would address the trade deficit in a way that neither Mr. Obama, nor any other Democrat, has been prepared to endorse. She wants to move to domestic energy production, opening up the Arctic National Wildlife Reserve and close-in (and safer to drill in) coastal regions for production. Mrs. Palin has a hard-earned canniness about the energy sector that can be matched by few other politicians in the country. She knows that our oil imports are a major part of our trade deficit. So while pursuing a sound-dollar policy that, at least in theory, could hurt our exports, she’d pursue a domestic oil policy that would help our trade deficit.

It’s not just idle speculation, conclude the editors, to imagine our allies among the G-20 nations reacting positively to an American president "who had a clear and savvy world view and knew where he, or she, was going."

h/t: Benyamin Korn

- JP

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