Monday Political Grab Bag: Obama Warns That War Talk Helps Iran

Mar 5, 2012

President Obama told AIPAC, the influential Israel lobbying group, Sunday that his policy on a potential Iranian nuclear weapon was one of prevention, not containment. And in a warning seemingly aimed at Israeli and U.S. politicians, he said bellicose language toward Iran which he said played into Iran's hands by raising oil prices and thus improving the Middle Eastern theocracy's financial situation.

Obama's comments preceded a scheduled White House Monday meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu with whom Obama has had a strained relationship over continued settlement building and the Israeli-Palestinian stalled peace process.

With Super Tuesday imminent, Republican presidential candidates Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum appeared to be tied in all important Ohio, one of ten states where contests will occur. Newt Gingrich, meanwhile, appeared to have a commanding, double-digit lead in his home state of Georgia.

Vladimir Putin won a Sunday election, making him Russia's once and future president. The election was seen as appearances merely catching up to reality since many experts believed he actually has run Russia in recent years even though he legally had the secondary role of prime minister to Dmitri Medvedev. The elections Sunday were marred by numerous reports of irregularities.

Rush Limbaugh's "apology" for calling a Georgetown University a "slut" didn't end the outrage over his controversial comments, or the flight of some advertisers. Meanwhile, conservative pundit George Will, on ABC News' This Week scorched Republican Party leaders with a pithy critique: "They want to bomb Iran, but they're afraid of Rush Limbaugh."

There are evolutionary and psychological reasons why flip-flopping politicians may raise alarms for some voters while barely disturbing others. NPR correspondents reported on some of the relevant research behind this tendency and other aspects of how our brains deal with perceived inconsistency from politicians.

Copyright 2012 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.