Opening Act: Snowden Hunt

Reporting on Politics and Policy.
June 25 2013 8:25 AM

Opening Act: Snowden Hunt

Philip Rucker talks to Bush administration veterans who (surprise!) think Barack Obama's weakness and lack of lobbying are freeing up Russia et al to play games with Snowden.

Unlike other crises, the White House has not distributed any photographs of Obama and his advisers monitoring Snowden’s movements in the Situation Room or calling foreign leaders from the Oval Office. All known communications between U.S. officials and authorities in Hong Kong, China and Russia have been made by Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. and other underlings, although a senior administration official said Obama could become personally involved at some point.

At the risk of sounding overly Team Obama, is this crisis like those other crises? This is a pretty-please campaign of asking other states to hand over a 30-year-old guy who leaked some greatest hits from his NSA homework. The insertion of the president in the negotiation raises the political stakes for the leaders of those states, the risks of failure are high, and they're especially pathetic. Remember when Obama personally appealed for Chicago to get the Olympics, and failed? Imagine that on a grander scandal.

David Sessions gets real about "conservative self-pity."

Sean Higgins sees Obama becoming the "fracking president."

A worthwhile BuzzFeed listicle pays tribute to the most YOLO examples of civil asset forfeiture.

David Weigel is a Slate political reporter. You can reach him at daveweigel@gmail.com, or tweet at him @daveweigel.