A reader writes:

I like Obama a great deal. But I think you are giving him a bit too much credit when you say that jettisoning Freeman was part of a rope-a-dope strategy to eventually reassess Middle East policy. Obama's a go-along-get-along kind of politician. He doesn't take risks unless he absolutely has to.

In Chicago, he has supported some absolutely miserable politicians (Todd Stroger -- or our fair mayor, for that matter) because they're part of the machine, and if you want to be successful, you play ball with the machine.  Of course, by the time of Stroger's election, Obama didn't necessarily need to play ball in quite that way -- but he did anyway, because that's the kind of guy he is.

He could have supported Freeman with, I think, very little damage to himself.  But he didn't.  Does that mean he'll be willing to stick his neck out later when there's more of a chance that someone will actually take a damaging whack at it?  Well, maybe.  But I wouldn't bet on it.

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