New START Passes, 71-26: Is Pete Rouse the Magic?


It’s an interesting day when Robert Kagan, now at Brookings, is praising the President for his foreign policy and national security achievements.
Noting Obama’s success (and I should add John Kerry’s and Joe Biden’s) in pushing through ratification of the New START agreement with Russia, Kagan writes:

The Senate’s passage of the resolution of ratification of the New START treaty should be greeted as good news by sensible people interested in a sound American foreign and defense policy. The administration’s willingness to accommodate Republican concerns on missile defense and modernization of the aging nuclear force has significantly strengthened the original modest agreement. In exchange for Republican acceptance of relatively small cuts in nuclear weapons, President Obama is now on record supporting missile defense in a way that he had not been before and has committed more than $80 billion to modernizing the nuclear arsenal. Republicans ought to be delighted with the deal.

Some Republicans are delighted, others feel mediocre but supported it — and some just fought tooth and nail, mostly over petty topics rather than what was in the best interest of the nation’s security.
I’ll have more on Obama’s roll these past few days. His successes have just kept mounting. Hawaii will no doubt feel good after all of this.
One thing no one has raised as Obama’s team has pulled off one coup after another is what or who is responsible for some of this shift.
My bet is that the hidden hand of interim White House Chief of Staff Pete Rouse vs. the very visible hand of Rahm Emanuel has made a significant impact on sequencing and flow around the President.
Good job Pete (and the rest of the WH and Senate Foreign Relations teams).
— Steve Clemons


11 comments on “New START Passes, 71-26: Is Pete Rouse the Magic?

  1. nadine says:

    The Pete Rouse fan club would seem to be a small one, as the NYT is reporting that the WH is doing an outside search for a new chief of staff.


  2. erichwwk says:

    Also related:
    Swiss Judge Presses for Nuclear Trial Despite C.I.A. Link
    Published: December 23, 2010


  3. erichwwk says:

    Local reporters are not as fooled by START as seems to be the case in DC, but then we see the massive buildup in nuclear weapons capacity, whereas, if I may be so blunt, DC seems to be focused on appearance and rhetoric. But then lies pay so much better than truth.
    It seems Orwellian predictions are true, more is now less, and war is now peace.


  4. erichwwk says:

    And a few more:
    The START Treaty and Disarmament: a Dilemma in Search of a Debate
    by Andrew Lichterman {Western Legal Foundation]
    “New START” Ratification Likely End of Obama’s “Disarmament Vision,” and of Arms Control Era, as New Political Alignments, Fresh Crises Loom
    LASG press release 12-22-10


  5. erichwwk says:

    Sad that START receives so little in depth analysis and alternative takes so little coverage:
    For some other takes:
    START: Arms Affirmation Treaty
    By Darwin BondGraham, October 29, 2010
    New START Treaty Reduces Limit for Strategic Warheads But Not Number By Ivan Oelrich and Hans Kristensen


  6. PissedOffAmerican says:

    December 22, 2010 12:06 PM Eastern Time
    Obama Asked to Delay NUMEC Founder Award over Nuclear Weapons Material Diversions to Israel –
    WASHINGTON–(BUSINESS WIRE)–The Obama administration has been asked to delay a 2010 National Medal of Technology and Innovation award to Zalman Shapiro over lingering questions about the theft and diversion of US weapons grade uranium to Israel. Shapiro, a talented inventor, was the former president of the Nuclear Materials and Equipment Corporation. Shapiro and NUMEC were investigated over the diversion of weapons grade uranium to Israel from the plant at Apollo, Pennsylvania. A March/April 2010 Bulletin of Atomic Scientists analysis estimates that 741 pounds of highly enriched uranium suitable for weapons production disappeared from NUMEC while Shapiro was president and was likely diverted into the Israeli nuclear weapons program.
    Israel’s top economic espionage case officer Rafael Eitan, who handled spy Jonathan Pollard in the 1980s, infiltrated NUMEC to meet with Shapiro in 1968. According to Anthony Cordesman,


  7. Mr.Murder says:

    Oy, Mr.Pearlman. Peace and Goodwill on Earth, In Our Time!


  8. jonst says:

    Rouse? Maybe. But I will put my money on the fact that DADT, the tax cuts, and START had absolutely no corporate opposition.
    The big boys, after they got their tax cut, said “Happy Holidays boys….here are some presents”.
    Perhaps not so with Net Neutrality.


  9. Mr.Murder says:

    Got an Xmas card that reads like a breakup letter. That’s the good news.
    The bad news is that we’ve probably accelerated the anti Iran trend in this new START talk or set up parameters by which we’ll soon widen the war past covert ops in that area at this time.
    Maybe it allows us to target such suspected areas for other countries, etc. Our satellites, someone else’s fighter-bombers. Israel has a pretty good track record there.


  10. Don Bacon says:

    Obama and Kerry were involved? Come on, it was all Joe Biden.
    Joe Biden, President Obama’s Cheney without the shotgun, has delivered on Iraq after a war he was instrumental in starting and has been the chief kowtower to Israel after claiming that he is a Zionist, among other successes.
    But Joe had to be reined in after he went a bit too far, as shown in this video.


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