Clinton Delivers Foreign Policy Speech

Hillary Clinton delivered a foreign policy speech at George Washington University in Washington, D.C. on Monday. Joining her at the speech were “a group of senior retired military and defense officials who have endorsed her to be this nation’s next Commander-in-Chief.” They included: 

General Wesley Clark, Lt. General Joe Ballard, Major General Antonio M. Taguba, Rear Admiral David Stone, Brigadier General John M. Watkins, Jr. and former Secretary of the Army Togo West. Generals Taguba and Watkins will formally announce their endorsement of Senator Clinton today.

In her speech Clinton noted that opponent Barack Obama can be seen as “rash and inconsistent on foreign policy issues, ” and she “paired two of Obama’s campaign statements to support her conclusion.”

”He wavers from seeming to believe that mediation and meetings without preconditions can solve some of the world’s most intractable problems to advocating rash, unilateral military action without the cooperation of our allies in the most sensitive part of the world,” Clinton said in a speech at The George Washington University.

The former first lady has sharply criticized her rival for the Democratic presidential nomination for saying during a televised debate last summer that he would be willing as president to meet with the leaders of Cuba, Iran and other hostile nations without preconditions. He reiterated that willingness last week.

”We simply cannot legitimize rogue regimes or weaken American prestige by impulsively agreeing to presidential talks that have no preconditions,” Clinton said. ”It may sound good, but it doesn’t meet the real world test of foreign policy.”

The N.Y. Times noted that Obama has also said that “he would be willing to send U.S. troops into Pakistan if there were ”actionable intelligence” that the country is harboring terrorists.”

The full text of Clinton’s speech can be found here. Speech junkie that I am, I enjoyed reading it. I recommend to readers that you take the time to read it, it’s far more interesting than most of the campaign tripe in the news and the blogs today.

Speaking of foreign policy, one of my greatest concerns about Barack Obama as the Democratic nominee is that John McCain will trump him on foreign policy issues. You can throw out all the McCain voted for the war lines in the book, but that won’t matter to the Republican base and many independents who will still look at McCain’s creds and see him as far more experienced that Obama. I’m not the only one worried about this as Dan Balz notes in the WaPo:

Democratic governors from states likely to help decide the 2008 presidential election see Republican Sen. John McCain as a potentially formidable opponent whose life story and reputation for political independence make him a threat in November, despite conditions that they say now favor their nominee.

Thank goodness not everyone is living in fantasy land. McCain will be formidable and there’s a host of other issues that won’t go away by waving a magic wand:

Oh… and incase you didn’t notice, the coverage of Clinton’s foreign policy speech on Monday is indicative of how the media ignores and focuses on the non issues — Taylor has more.

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5 Responses to Clinton Delivers Foreign Policy Speech

  1. Pingback: The Democratic Daily

  2. The Dem candidate gets a little help from BUSHCO today (am I the only one who suspects that they would prefer a four year break to let memories grow dull, and prepare for their next push rightward). It’s now being openly stated that “post surge” troop levels in Iraq and planned to be greater than “pre surge” troop levels. It is simply inconceivable to me that the vast majority of people will not view this as an admission of failure, and cause to look for anything but “stay the course”.

  3. Freccia says:

    Whether you support Senator Clinton or not, speeches like this one on foreign policy are what the presidential campaign should be about. We need to hear from our candidates in clear, concise words what they are going to do about very complex issues, and I feel like Senator Clinton has at least attempted to do this with a serious foreign policy speech amidst the tumult of “costume-gate” and the media’s fever pitch.

    I think it’s too bad that supporters of all candidates allow themselves to be railroaded into one narrative or another, and then when that narrative is challenged they are forced to battle back. “Hillary is the candidate of experience” is one of those narratives. No one seems to question the validity of the central premise. Moreover, “Barack is the new JFK” seems to be taken as common wisdom these days. Says who? I like it when thoughtful people in the know are able to break out of the path dependency and share a nuanced perspective. I read a great column in the Vacaville Reporter today that actually made a strong case for Hillary as the standard bearer of JFK’s legacy. I didn’t completely agree with one of the overarching themes–that the Kennedy’s support for Obama comes out of political calculation–but I truly appreciated the way the columnist contextualized Hillary’s growth as an agent for change.

  4. Pingback: Presidential election 2008 |Republicans Vs. Democrats » Clinton Delivers Foreign Policy Speech

  5. Nancy Gerber says:

    Outstanding! This speech and the support of the military elite demonstrates Senator Clinton’s unequaled command of the intricacies of foreign and domestic policy. Her international standing, her decisiveness, and her diplomacy position her as the only candidate who is ready to be Commander-In-Chief. Eliminate the media’s sycophantic pandering to Obama and you have only Hillary Clinton whose resume far overshadows that of her opponent. With her knowledge and leadership this country will be far safer, more secure, and more highly regarded within the global community.