Friday, September 14, 2012

3:00 a.m.

"When you shoot from the hip, you inevitably end up shooting yourself in the foot." - Deciminyan

During the 2008 presidential primary, Senator Hillary Clinton ran television ads asking how an inexperienced Senator from Illinois would react to a middle-of-the-night phone call about an overseas crisis. The purpose of the ad was to highlight Senator Obama’s limited experience in foreign policy.

Fortunately, Obama’s performance has belied the assumption in that video. His foreign policy has not been exceptional, but it has been pretty good. His first foreign policy action as president was one of his best - the appointment of Senator Clinton as Secretary of State. Clinton has immersed herself in the job, and while many of her efforts never make the nightly news, she has become as masterful in the job as her previous Democratic colleague, Madeline Albright. Choosing the Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee as his vice president also brought substantial foreign policy experience to the Obama administration.

Obama ended the foolish war in Iraq and is well on his way in extricating us from the quagmire in Afghanistan. He eliminated Qaddafi and Bin Laden. He’s kept (so far) Israel from engaging in a no-win war with Iran.

On the other hand, Mitt Romney has amply demonstrated that he has neither the temperament nor the experience to handle the 3 a.m. phone call. His shoot-from-the-hip response to the Libya crisis, announcing that the President of the United States sympathizes with the enemy, was foolish, bordering on downright traitorous.  Rarely do presidential challengers second-guess the incumbent during times of overseas crisis. Romney’s foreign policy experience is limited to sending American jobs offshore and his own money to the Cayman Islands.

The Republicans criticize Obama for his prior work as a community organizer. Yet, that’s a job that requires the use of persuasion over power - a key component of a successful foreign policy portfolio (if only Dubya and his war-monger advisers had understood this, many more Americans and Iraqis would be alive today.)  Romney’s claim to fame is the generation of wealth through non-value-added financial transactions. His skill set includes guile and exploitation of others. Maybe that works in his  business, but it’s not a qualification to be Leader of the Free World.

If Romney becomes President and that 3 a.m. phone call comes in, the world suddenly becomes a more dangerous place.

1 comment:

  1. "bordering on downright traitorous"?

    Perhaps Hillary Clinton was referring to you in this clip?