Tonight at about 10:45 pm EST, I will be chatting with MSNBC anchor of The Last Word, Lawrence O’Donnell about the comparative foreign policy and national security strengths of President Obama versus GOP contender Mitt Romney.
I wonder how many layers of staff (i.e. servants) Romney’s hypothetical 1600 Pennsylvania household would have to work through before handing him the phone — but that aside, this is an interesting issue. I wasn’t impressed with Romney’s Citadel speech, though I do think he has a smart foreign policy advisory team around him (John Bolton being a serious recent exception).
But Obama has pulled off a Nixonian strategy of talking democracy, principles, values that we Americans care about, as well as transparency — while at the same time not running away from the fact that America has core strategic interests and has no magic wand to dispense with thugs. Dealing with thugs around the world is part of how America moves the foreign policy needle and how it ultimately (used to anyway) made the world a more stable and less dysfunctional place.
More tonight for those of you who want to stop in. I’ll post the clip from the show here in the morning.
— Steve Clemons