"There are times when they slip back into Cold War thinking and Cold War mentality," Mr. Obama said. "What I continually say to them and to President Putin, that's the past."
The joke here is that Obama actually thinks this matters. Putin doesn't care about these summits unless he can use them to somehow extract a concession from Obama. If Obama put missile defense in Eastern Europe back on the table, then Putin would care.
But Obama thinks that denying Putin a chance to bask in his glow is a punishment.
President Barack Obama canceled a bilateral meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin set to be held in Moscow next month, following Russia's decision to grant asylum to former U.S. contractor Edward Snowden, the White House said Wednesday.
"There are times when they slip back into Cold War thinking and Cold War mentality," Mr. Obama said of Russia in an interview on "The Tonight Show With Jay Leno" on Tuesday night. "What I continually say to them and to President Putin, that's the past."
No you idiot. It's the present.
The present comes out of the past. It's not some dead book. Russia has always been a geopolitical rival with the countries that are part of NATO. Or as close to always as we need to get into at the moment.
Obama insists that the Cold War is in the past while Putin insists it's in the present. Which of them is really out of touch with reality?
White House spokesman Jay Carney in a statement said the decision came after the Obama administration "reached the conclusion that there is not enough recent progress in our bilateral agenda with Russia" to hold the meeting.
"Given our lack of progress on issues such as missile defense and arms control, trade and commercial relations, global security issues, and human rights and civil society in the last 12 months, we have informed the Russian government that we believe it would be more constructive to postpone the summit until we have more results from our shared agenda," the statement said. "Russia's disappointing decision to grant Edward Snowden temporary asylum was also a factor that we considered in assessing the current state of our bilateral relationship."
Was there any progress before? No. But this time Putin humiliated him in a way that even got through to the Narcissist-in-Chief.