Barack Obama this weekend is settling into his last Martha's Vineyard vacation as president with a bump from a good jobs report. But our grader Jed Babbin said the Iran news of the week hung over the administration.
President Obama had an interesting week, at least for himself. He engaged in the Democrats' favorite sport: baiting GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump. Obama said that Trump was unfit to be president and called upon Republicans to reject him. Inevitably, he got a rise from Trump that was washed away in the flood of Trump's other responses to real and imagined insults thrown at him.
Unfortunately for the president, his credibility - and that of his deal with Iran on nuclear weapons - continued to be trashed by the facts. It was revealed this week that the release of four Americans that coincided with Obama's payment to Iran of $400 million in cash. The White House predictably denied it was a ransom payment which left me wondering why, if it wasn't a ransom, the payment made secretly and kept secret for more than a year.
The administration's explanation that the hostages' release, the payments and other parts of the deal were all negotiated separately by different teams strained credulity to the breaking point. Saeed Abedini, one of the hostages, said that the plane on which the hostages were loaded for a return flight had to wait until the "other plane" — the one carrying the ransom payment — arrived. Obama's diplomatic "triumphs" regarding Iran are reminiscent of Casey Stengel's question to the 1962 New York Mets: "Can't anybody here play this game?"
Grade: D Minus
Jed Babbin is an Examiner contributor and former deputy undersecretary of defense in administration of former President George H.W. Bush. Follow him @jedbabbin
Paul Bedard, the Washington Examiner's "Washington Secrets" columnist, can be contacted at email@example.com