Rich Galen

I can't be the first person to point out that they are the only two men in American history whose push for a national health care system caused them to control of the House of Representatives. Clinton in 1994, Obama in 2010.

Also in New York the diplomatic press corps was breathlessly reporting that President Obama would "meet with" Iranian President Hassan Rouhani during the opening of the U.N. General Assembly session.

This "meeting" was never likely to be a formal sit-down - that's not the way diplomacy works. U.S. officials said it would simply be "an encounter," but Rouhani didn't even want to be in the same place at the same time with Obama. That might have had more to do with domestic Iranian politics than diplomatic chess playing, but it didn't happen.

You can look at that two ways. First, that when the President of the United States makes it clear he (or, someday she) would like to have a chat and that offer is rebuffed, it is a huge international embarrassment to the American President.

I look at it the other way: You can put your hand out for a shake, but you can't make the other guy take it.

I assume the U.S. Department of State agrees with me that I wouldn't trust Rouhani as far as I could throw the whole nation of Iran, but that doesn't take away from the President's offer.

Ted Cruz won't get his way in Washington; Barack Obama didn't get his way in New York.

There was a lot of noise, yesterday, but not much progress.

Rich Galen

Rich Galen has been a press secretary to Dan Quayle and Newt Gingrich. Rich Galen currently works as a journalist and writes at