International incidents are a prime opportunity to daydream about foreign leaders who'd make better presidents than Barack Obama, at least inside the conservative media bubble. David Cameron has now joined Vladimir Putin and Benjamin Netanyahu on the right's list of foreigners they'd rather have in the Oval Office than the man the nation elected.
On August 28, President Obama delivered remarks on the U.S. military's approach to the rising terror threat from the Islamic State (also known as ISIS or ISIL) and recent developments in Ukraine. Right-wing media figures responded with disdain, accusing the president of failing to view the Islamic State as a threat and even suggesting it's understandable to think Obama sympathizes with terrorists. Yet when Cameron delivered similar remarks on the Islamic State's threat to the United Kingdom the next day, the right's response was much different -- Fox News contributor Erick Erickson tweeted:
Can we borrow David Cameron? He fights.
-- Erick Erickson (@EWErickson) August 29, 2014
Cameron joins a select group of foreign leaders whom the right-wing media have determined to be better suited for the U.S. presidency than the man chosen by American voters.
Russian President Vladimir Putin
Right-wing media have repeatedly championed the Russian president as a leader who is superior to Obama.
In 2013, when the two heads of state supported opposing factions in the Syrian civil war, conservative outlets praised Putin as “the leader of the free world” and a “real He-Man” who demands respect, unlike the “gutless” Obama. Rush Limbaugh even appeared to take Putin's side in the conflict.
Earlier this year, when Russian forces invaded Ukraine in violation of multiple international treaties, Rudy Giuliani took to Fox News to praise Putin as "what you call a leader," in contrast to Obama. Other conservative outlets fawned over shirtless photos of the Russian leader while complaining that Obama wears “mom jeans” and is weak on foreign policy.
And when it comes to protecting America from threats posed by the Islamic State, right-wing media find Russia's president preferable. Fox host Kimberly Guilfoyle wished that Putin could be the U.S. president for 48 hours to deal with the terror group, saying he could “get in here and get it done right.”
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu
If only Netanyahu were the president rather than Obama, the nation's borders would be secure, according to Fox's Sean Hannity and Ann Coulter.
Discussing an influx of immigrants crossing the U.S.-Mexico border to flee violence in Central America, Coulter claimed that Netanyahu's handling of Israel's war with Gaza showed that he could be the nation's answer to the immigration crisis. “I wish we could have Netanyahu as our president.” “Me, too,” Hannity quickly agreed.