If you just landed here from Mars- or from North Korea, where information about planet Earth is equally available- you would assume that President Trump is resolving innumerable problems left him by President Obama. In his campaign event- uh, er, appearance- with Nikki Haley on Tuesday, we learned that as of January 19, 2017
- Iran "looked like a real problem. It was a question of when they would take over the Middle East."
- The federal government was hostage to a "ridiculous deal that they made" with Iran.
- The USA had with North Korea "a deal that — it was something that was — it was a devastating — potentially devastating problem. And now, the relationships are very good."
- The world was not respecting the USA, yet now now "the world is really respecting the United States again, much more so they have — than they have in many, many decades. We are respected again, that I can tell you. Very much respected again."
- The USA had no friends in the United Nations but now "votes that we would normally get no votes, we’re getting very strong votes now."
- The federal government was unable to get hostages back but now "we got our hostages back. And I didn’t pay $1.8 billion, like the previous administration. We got — I paid nothing."
In Trump's telling, the Obama Administration paid $1.8 billion to Iran and didn't get hostages back, had brought America to the brink of a major war with North Korea, was getting routed in the United Nations, and was little respected across the globe.
The United States of America was a basket case when Donald Trump was inaugurated on January 20, 2017, in the President's telling. President Obama's foreign policy was a failure on Iran, China, North Korea, and in the United Nations. War- maybe worse- was averted only because President Obama gave way to President Trump nearly two years ago, and America is sailing again.
That is fiction, of course. However, it is the narrative of a master communicator and actor (not in that order) occupying the White House. And the narrative is likely to take hold in the absence of an effective rebuttal.
Former Secretary of State Kerry, amidst criticism from the GOP, is speaking, boldly. However, former President Obama has been relatively (though not totally) quiet, and has been completely so since Trump slammed him in the event held with Ambassador Haley.
This does not prove that President Obama's foreign policy was the abject failure that President Trump paints it as (video from 10/17). Nevertheless, if the individual most responsible for the nation's foreign policy from 2001 through 2008 does not poke holes in Donald Trump's argument, it's only fair that independent-minded people (and someone in from Mars) would come to believe that it was a disaster.
That's probably not good for President Obama's legacy. However, it is definitely very good for Donald Trump and the Republican Party he now owns.