At the tail end of his 90 minute meeting with Russian President Dmitri Medvedev Monday, President Obama said that he would have “more flexibility” to deal with controversial issues such as missile defense, but incoming Russian President Vladimir Putin needs to give him “space.”
The exchange was picked up by microphones as reporters were let into the room for remarks by the two leaders.
President Obama: On all these issues, but particularly missile defense, this, this can be solved but it’s important for him to give me space.
President Medvedev: Yeah, I understand. I understand your message about space. Space for you…
President Obama: This is my last election. After my election I have more flexibility.
President Medvedev: I understand. I will transmit this information to Vladimir.
The truth revealed? Obama (a) wants to do a deal gutting our missile defense systems with the Russians and, in particular, leaving Eastern Europe defenseless, because he's an anti-American, anti-military leftist; but (b) he can't do it now because it interferes with Priority #1, which is getting himself re-elected; so (c) he has to lie to the American people about (a) in order to make sure of (b).
Now, I know Obama wasn't much of a lawyer. Despite his Harvard Law "credential" and his supposed Chicago Law "professorship," there is literally no evidence of any actual legal work or legal scholarship he's ever done. So perhaps we can't expect him to understand much about Basic Lawyering 101. But you'd think they might have taught him at Harvard the most basic thing a lawyer has to know... namely, who you're client is.
In Obama's case, as President, his client is the American people. He owes, to take the analogy a step further, fiduciary duties to the American people. One of those duties is the duty of undivided loyalty. Another is a duty of candor.Still another is not to act in his own self-interest against his client's best interests.
Here Obama essentially violates all of them, admitting that he's going to hide what he wants to do (something favorable for Russia and not so favorable for the U.S.) from his client, so that he can get re-elected.
Imagine a similar conversation between two attorneys engaged in litigation:
Plaintiff's Counsel: On all these issues, but particularly [settlement on terms that are bad for my client], this can be solved but it’s important for your boss to give me space.
Defense Counsel: Yeah, I understand. I understand your message about space. Space for you…
Plaintiff's Counsel: This is my last election [as my firm's Management Committee chair]. After my election I have more flexibility.
Defense Counsel: I understand. I will transmit this information to [my senior partner].
Doesn't sound too good from an ethical perspective, now does it?