Obama Has a Middle East 'Manhood Problem,' NYT's David Brooks Says

Barbara Boland
By Barbara Boland | April 22, 2014 | 10:19 AM EDT

Has the earth stopped spinning on its axis? No - but New York Times columnist David Brooks has declared that Obama has a "manhood problem" - in the Middle East, specifically.

Sen. Bob Corker R-Tenn. was quoted on NBC's "Meet the Press" Sunday saying that Putin's recent actions in Russia and the Ukraine demonstrate Obama's "era of permissiveness."

Chuck Todd, accompanied at the round table by host David Gregory and David Brooks, said that Obama's response to the situation in Ukraine is critical, since other countries are watching closely.

Brooks responded, "Basically, since Yalta [WWII Conference between Churchill, Stalin and Roosevelt,] we've had an assumption that borders are basically going to be borders. And once that comes into question, if in Ukraine or Crimea or anywhere else, then all over the world-"

"All bets are off," Chuck Todd said.

"And let's face it, Obama, whether deservedly or not, does have a - I'll say it crudely, but a manhood problem in the Middle East. Is he tough enough to stand up to somebody like Assad or Putin?" Brooks said.

"A lot of the rap is unfair, but certainly in the Middle East, there's an assumption he's not tough," he added.

"Internally, they fear this. It's not just Bob Corker saying it, questioning whether the president is being alpha male," Todd said. "That's essentially what he's saying: he's not alpha dog enough, his rhetoric isn't tough enough. They agree with the policy decisions, but it's the rhetoric. Internally, this is a question."