In a story that is sure to delight conservatives with a sense of irony, former Soviet head honcho Mikhail Gorbachev has announced that he has every intention of supporting President Obama for reelection. It's not quite an endorsement, but it's as close as Gorbachev will probably get. You may remember that this is the same Mikhail Gorbachev who dissolved the Soviet Union, which he only did, according to some sources, after being thoroughly outgunned and outfoxed by former President Ronald Reagan in the 1980's.
The endorsement came at, of all places, a high school, where Gorbachev was delivering a lecture in his capacity as the 1990 Nobel Peace Prize winner. The Chicago Sun Times sums up the event this way:
The 1990 Nobel Peace Prize winner recalled a speech that he gave to a university audience of 12,000 shortly before Obama’s historic election in 2008.
Two young men were being “particularly persistent” on that day in seeking advice on how Gorbachev believed they should vote.
“When they asked this question, I said, ‘I don’t want to teach you because, often, America teaches others how they should live.’ If I give you advice, I said, that would be a risk,’” Gorbachev recalled Monday, speaking through an interpreter.
“But nevertheless, I did say, ‘I think you Americans need your own Perestroika.’ And 12,000 people rose from their seats and gave me an ovation. And I think that the elections that followed brought a new spirit to America. Of course, there are many people who don’t like what President Obama is doing. But, my opinion of him is very [favorable]. I will support him. However, there are still vested interests who want another Cold War, another arms race, weapons trade, interventions. They will not succeed.”
This raises the question of who Gorbachev means. The major enemies of the United States in the modern day tend to be Islamic theocratic states - in many cases, countries that tried to fight off the Soviet Union with equal zeal. Is he worried about another confrontation between the United States and Russia? Or does he know something about that "flexibility" that Obama promised Medvedev that the rest of us don't?