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Axelrod Gets Jammed on Hot Dog Diplomacy

8:57 PM, Jun 23, 2009 • By MICHAEL GOLDFARB
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I peg this at about 60 percent bias and 90 percent bull (unverified transcript from CNN):

BROWN: Not to beat a dead horse, but I'm going to beat the dead horse to try to get an answer to this question. We're watching this violence unfold and yet you're administration has told embassies around the world to invite Iranian diplomats to their Fourth of July parties. The president talked about this today and didn't really answer the question. Wolf Blitzer asked you about it, as well, and you didn't answer it. Can you answer it yes or no?

AXELROD: Well, what I said was what the president said which is, you know, the ball's really in their court. We'll see what happens in the next -- in the next days.

BROWN: So that means, I'm guessing, the invitation does still stand? And the question is will they show up?

AXELROD: It means, let's see what happens in the next few days.

BROWN: What are the ramifications of giving a yes or no answer to that?

AXELROD: Well -- first of all, let me just say this. I don't think that the opportunity to have a hot dog at the embassy is likely the thing that is going to influence the Iranians. And, you know, that is not a major tool of foreign policy.

BROWN: But it sends a powerful message. It is a way to open up a dialogue. It's about a lot more than having a hot dog. You know that.

AXELROD: Actually, it's a way to close down a dialogue. I don't think anybody in Iran is fixated right now on what they're going to be doing on July 4th in embasies around the world. They've got a crisis they ought to deal with and ought to resolve it in the interests of the people of Iran and they ought to pull back from repressive tactics they've employed.

BROWN: We'll end it there, David Axelrod...