Obama Foreign Policy: Seriously Sub-Optimal

Pictures of Barack Obama bowing courtesy of today’s Drudge Report.

Overview.

I’m not going to hammer on the president for his choice of words on Jon Stewart. I’m not a fan of the Dems’ insulting attempts at faux outrage over things like “binders” so I’ll not do anything but quote our president. But we can safely say, as President Obama did, when Americans die our president’s foreign policy is obviously “not optimal.” And when you look back at the past four years, really, we can’t say what’s happened are mere “bumps in the road,” either, but the result of having chosen the wrong road altogether. Today in the New York Post Amir Taheri put it more succinctly: the president’s foreign policy has “failed.”

So before tonight’s debate about foreign policy, let’s remind ourselves just how sub-optimal this president’s foreign policy has been, and how bumpy the road was. People may criticize Mitt for not having foreign policy experience, but Obama only has four more years than Mitt has, having had none when he started on the job training. The question is whether Barack Obama learned anything during that time, and perhaps the biggest indictment contained in the mess in Libya is that his record indicates he hasn’t learned what he needs to, and is willing to close his eyes to the obvious in favor of a narrative that supports, if tenuously, his world view. Meanwhile I’m sure someone else with a different philosophy, like peace through American strength, would do a lot better.

His One Argument: bin Laden

Let’s start by giving the president partial credit for his one “achievement.” In a true team effort, American intelligence, after years of searching that culminated during the Obama administration, was able to find Osama bin Laden. The president then sent a team of experts into Pakistan to kill him. Still, a number of things still trouble me about this “success.”

First, the president’s beaming over the mission and “spiking the football.” While it’s a comforting thought bin Laden is no longer a threat, call me old fashioned but it does not seem appropriate to throw a party when anyone is killed, even if a confessed terrorist and murderer. The appropriate attitude seems to be one of quiet gratitude, and confidence we were able to accomplish what we needed to protect American citizens from harm. But not elation.

Second, the president’s taking personal credit for the achievement. What happened was a success due to years of work starting in the Bush administration and involving hundreds if not thousands of people from intelligence gatherers to planners of the raid to those who actually executed it. Let’s not forget the president watched it on TV, and was not on the ground personally in Pakistan. He deserves credit as the person at the head of the team, but to the extent he deserves that credit, he deserves as much blame for what went wrong in Libya. And gracious leaders give credit where due. I agree he should be congratulated for making the decision to move forward. He took a risk and it paid off. But I disagree with President Clinton’s assessment that this decision took any special fortitude. I believe Mitt’s right that any president would have made the same decision. So Obama’s credit is for being in the seat at the head of table when the team succeeded, and for calling for the two-point conversion to win the game. He succeeded, and gets the credit for that strategic decision. But it was the team on the field, not him that deserves any glory, and an end-zone dance seems particularly inappropriate.

Third, in his desire to take personal credit, the president shared sensitive intelligence information. He volunteered the identity of the team that carried it out, putting them and their families in danger. And this was one of many leaks, coming per Dianne Feinstein directly out of the White House, of sensitive US information. The president seems willing to compromise security when it suits his political purposes, which I find difficult to condone.

Finally, and perhaps most importantly, the success of this one mission does not mean Al Qaeda is really “on the run,” as has been claimed by the Dems. They’re still in Afghanistan and now are in Libya. And whatever the president’s policy in this regard, despite bin Laden’s removal, the date of Al Qaeda’s last successful terrorist attack is no longer 9/11/01. It’s 9/11/12.

Now, to more problematic issues: world hot spots

1. Libya. Four Americans are killed in Libya despite pleas for additional security. Reports out of the State Department, the intelligence community and the White House contradict who knew what when. Immediately after the attack the president made a generically deniable statement about not letting terrorism deter us, but spent the next two weeks allowing the American people to believe it’s somehow the fault of our freedom of speech and an obscure YouTube video, using rhetoric that could suggest we somehow deserve what happened. Why? Again President Obama and the Democrats insisted on “spiking the football” over Osama bin Laden’s death at their convention, such that it’s an inconvenient truth that Al Qaeda is not really “on the run,” especially in Libya where the president is trying to take credit for “leading from behind.” Contrary to his assertions, Libya is not a model for American foreign policy success as it is now the site of the first assassination of an ambassador in 30 years.

Judge Jeanine of Fox lets it out here:

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America: Obama’s Reality vs Romney’s Reality


With sufficient frustrations born of the media’s failing of America by not disseminating truth and facts, and with bewilderment over the media’s blindness to truth and substance, I have compared below the realities of America under Obama and Romney. To be fair, Mitt Romney hasn’t led America, yet, but his history and record is clearly indicative of what we might see under a Romney Presidency. Further and notwithstanding my bias towards Mitt Romney, I have tried to be dispassionate in this comparative.

Romney’s America seems to be more robust and more hopeful, in fact, more Free.


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PANDER ALERT: Obama Thinks We’re Stupid, Tries to Get Tough with China Right Before Election

Obama Tough on China?

We’ve seen it time and time again on issues like gay marriage on immigration reform, but the latest last-minute Obama pander comes on an issue that he’s been proven to be weak on: China.

Nearly 4 years into his presidency, and conveniently before the debates, Obama will be in my state (Ohio) today to announce a trade case against China over illegal subsidies for automobiles and auto parts. What took him so long?

This is an issue that is central to the Romney message, one that he has hammered away at since the early days of the Republican primary — and Obama clearly sees that the message is resonating, thus the pander.

It’s no secret that Ohioans trust Romney on this issue:

It is almost offensive to me that Obama would wait until the last months of his presidency to do something that he could have just as easily done years ago — and all to try and get a boost in the polls before reelection.

His flip-flop on gay marriage earlier this year and his ultra-pander on immigration are similar ways of saying, “Hey voters, I think you’re stupid enough to not see what I’m doing here.”

But the voting public recognizes these stunts for what they are and we’ll be damned if we don’t call him out on it.
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Mitt & Ann Romney’s CBS Interview: “Bin Laden death shouldn’t be campaign issue”

Governor Mitt Romney and wife, Ann, were guests on the CBS This Morning program today. Co-hosts Charlie Rose and Erica Hill conducted the interview.

Part 1 - Romney on Chinese dissident Chen Guangcheng, Bin Laden death shouldn’t be campaign issue, VP posssibilities:

…Romney said the president “has every right to take credit” for ordering the mission.

Romney added: “At the same time, I think it was very disappointing for the president to try and make this a political item by suggesting that I wouldn’t have ordered such a raid. Of course I would have. Any American — any thinking American — would have ordered exactly the same thing. But of course you give the president the credit for the fact that he did so.”

Part 2 - After hearing, for the umpteenth time, questions about Mitt’s personality, Ann Romney says he’s still “wild and crazy”:

“I still look at him as the boy that I met in high school when he was playing all the jokes and really just being crazy — pretty crazy. So there’s a wild and crazy man inside there.”

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A Glimpse Into the Life of President

I highly recommend visiting any presidential museum that is near your home or in a city that you may travel to as part of a vacation or on business. To find a museum closest to your home, click here.

My first visit to a presidential library was to the Nixon Library right after it opened. I have learned over the years that the vast majority of Americans have no idea what a presidential library is (a museum) and very few have ever visited one. I have made it a point to visit every presidential library if I am in the area. Each one is unique and is comparable to the Smithsonian Institution as to quality. The Carter museum is one of the finest I have seen. Nixon’s is probably the best, comparable in every way to Reagan’s. An excellent site is the Nixon Foundation.

In my opinion, President Nixon accomplished much. His influence in the world, for peace, is undeniable. He was the first president to visit China and the Soviet Union. His tough private negotiations, combined with diplomatic public rhetoric altered the course of history for good. The blotch in his reputation at the end is testimony to us all that much good in one’s reputation can be eclipsed by one decision of poor judgment.

Yesterday, I took the day off work to take my 15-year old son Blake to the Nixon Library. He has been to the Reagan Library and but not yet to the Nixon (at 15, I actually did not think he would choose the library over surfing!). Following are about 30 photographs with brief stories to describe some of them (these do not even scratch the surface of what you will see in a presidential museum):

Nixon Library Entrance


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Richard Nixon early childhood home

This home was built by Richard’s father in 1912 at this exact location. It has never been moved except to raise the foundation.

Below the fold are another 28 photographs taken yesterday at the Nixon Library and Museum. (more…)

Mitt Romney’s WSJ Op-Ed on China — HE WILL: Stop Cheating / Take Counteraction / Not Tolerate Surrender / Will Never Flinch

Governor Romney wrote an Op-Ed for The Wall Street Journal yesterday that clearly shows how tough he would be to reverse Obama’s incompetence and appeasement relative to China relations. Though it may not be clear to Mr. Obama and those who surround him, it is obvious to the world that Obama is out of his league when it comes to negotiating. He swore he would do everything in his power to protect our nation and the American people. Mr. Obama seems completely happy as President of the United States — almost complacent — I think it is because he does not know what he does not know.

Early in his administration he removed nuclear missiles in Europe in the hopes of becoming buddies with the Russian leadership — does naivete have an accent? How did that work Mr. President? Obama did not even ask the Russians for one thing in return. Why? Because he has never negotiated anything in his life. He has no clue how to negotiate. What a surprise. Does this remind us of any other senator? Oh, yeah. Santorum. Just this week we hear that Obama is thinking about reducing America’s nuclear force by 80 percent! He wants to go down in history as the appeasement president.

Governor Romney’s Op-Ed is the kind of steely toughness that America needs right now as the world’s bullies close in. Make no mistake here. Those who assume that Governor Romney will take actions that would escalate tensions do not understand his background. His entire career has involved in negotiating to the win-win result. Governor Romney is a master negotiator. The Chinese and the Iranians are laughing at Obama (and us) every day.

“How I’ll Respond to China’s Rising Power”by Mitt Romney — The Wall Street Journal, 2/16/12

Should the 21st century be an American century? To answer, it is only necessary to contemplate the alternatives.

One much bruited these days is that of a Chinese century. With China’s billion-plus population, its 10% annual average growth rates, and its burgeoning military power, a China that comes to dominate Asia and much of the globe is increasingly becoming thinkable. The character of the Chinese government—one that marries aspects of the free market with suppression of political and personal freedom—would become a widespread and disquieting norm.

But the dawn of a Chinese century—and the end of an American one—is not inevitable. (more…)

Mitt hits a homer! Text of CPAC Speech

“Barack Obama is the poster child for the arrogance of government.” –Mitt Romney at CPAC

Read for yourselves. Mitt needs to be our next president. UPDATE: Watch the speech here.

Thanks, Al, for that warm introduction.

This year, here at CPAC, we’ve got a great crowd. It’s been a great conference. For that I suppose we should acknowledge President Obama, the conservative movement’s top recruiter. Turns out, he really is a great community organizer. Although, I don’t think we were the community he had in mind.

Today we are poised for a great victory in November. The pundits and the pollsters tell us we can win this election. But we must tell the nation why we should win. It is up to us to prove that we are truly ready to step forward and lead this country. This election is not just about getting more votes. Defeating Barack Obama is only one step toward our greater goal of saving America.

Of course we can defeat Barack Obama! That’s the easy part! Believe me, November 6th will be the easiest day our next President will face.

This country we love is in jeopardy. It’s more than the economic statistics we read, it’s the pain we feel in our hearts. For three years we have suffered through the failures not only of a weak leader, but of a bankrupt ideology. I am convinced that if we do our job, if we lead with conviction and integrity, that history will record the Obama Presidency as the last gasp of liberalism’s great failure and a turning point for a new conservative era.

But it’s not enough to show how they have failed. We must prove we deserve to lead. I am here today to ask you to stand with me shoulder to shoulder as we go forward to fight for America.

As we step forward together, now is the time to reaffirm what it means to be a conservative and why this must be our greatest hour. America is like no other country in history. At the very heart of our American conservatism is the conviction that the principles embodied in the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence are uniquely powerful, foundational, and defining. Some see the hand of Providence in their authorship. Others credit the brilliance of the Founders. Many of us see both. But conservatives all agree that departing from these founding principles is a departure from the greatness of America– from our mission, from our freedom, from our prosperity, and from our purpose.

I know this President will never get it, but we conservatives aren’t just proud to cling to our guns and to our religion. We are also proud to cling to our Constitution! (more…)

Trump: “It’s my honor, my REAL honor, and privilege to endorse Mitt Romney.”

Trump Tower in Las Vegas

Trump International Hotel
Las Vegas

Ending months of suspense, from the glittering golden tower of Trump International Hotel on the Vegas strip, global business magnate Donald Trump has endorsed Mitt Romney…

“Mitt is tough. He’s smart. He’s sharp. He’s not going to allow bad things to continue to happen to this country that we all love.”


– Donald Trump

From the Romney Press office:

MITT ROMNEY ANNOUNCES SUPPORT OF DONALD TRUMP

Boston, MA – Mitt Romney today announced the support of Donald Trump. Mr. Trump joins a growing list of over 2,500 elected officials, leaders and activists from across the country who have endorsed Mitt Romney.

“I am humbled by the endorsements I have received from Republicans across the political spectrum. Donald Trump’s endorsement of me today sends a strong signal that he believes we have the best chance to make President Obama a one-term president,” said Mitt Romney. “We share both a background in the private sector and a belief that Washington needs to get out of the way of small business. His support is a sign that business leaders are fed up with Washington and want someone with actual experience creating jobs and working in the real economy in the White House.”

(emphasis added)

Donald Trump joins these public figures in endorsing Governor Romney:
New Jersey Governor Chris Christie
Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell
South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley
Nebraska Governor Dave Heineman
Utah Governor Gary Herbert
Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam
Former Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty
Former New Hampshire Governor John Sununu
Former Rhode Island Governor Don Carcieri
Former New Hampshire Governor and Senator Judd Gregg
Former Utah Governor Jon Huntsman
Senator John McCain (AZ)
Senator Kelly Ayotte (NH)
Senator Rob Portman (OH)
Senator John Thune (SD)
Senator Lisa Murkowski (AK)
Senator Jim Risch (ID)
Senator Mark Kirk (IL)
Senator Roy Blunt (MO)
Senator Thad Cochran (MS)
Senator Richard Burr (NC)
Senator John Hoeven (ND)
Senator Mike Johanns (NE)
Senator Orrin Hatch (UT)
Congressman Darrell Issa (CA)
Congressman Connie Mack (FL)
Congresswoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers (WA)
Congressman Greg Walden (OR)
Congressman Jason Chaffetz (UT)
Congressman Jeff Flake (AZ)
Congressman Mario Diaz-Balart (FL)
Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (FL)
Congressman Mark Amodei (NV)
Congresswoman Kay Granger (TX)
Congressman Charlie Bass (NH)
Congressman Aaron Schock (IL)
Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi
Colorado Attorney General John Suthers
Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette
Arizona Attorney General Tom Horne
Maine Attorney General William Schneider
Florida Commissioner of Agriculture Adam Putnam
Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeu
Conservative Leader Bay Buchanan
Conservative Leader Christine O’Donnell
Professor Mary Ann Glendon
Scott McNealy, CEO of Sun Microsystems
Meg Whitman, CEO of Hewlett-Packard
Andy Puzder, CEO of CKE Restaurants

With the alarming news today from the CBO, the real and urgent need for America’s business leaders to boldly fight their way to the front lines on Capitol Hill couldn’t be more clear. Good Ship America is sinking under the crippling cargo of burgeoning debt, harmful business regulations, heavy taxation, squandering of federal monies, crony capitalism, trade imbalances, dependence on foreign oil, and a growing entitlement mentality.

Obamanomics and anti-capitalist rhetoric, combined with class warfare, are tonnage that makes it almost impossible to come up for air.

Today’s endorsement from Donald Trump, whose name brand is known throughout the world, shines a spotlight on growing support for Romney from America’s job creators, entrepreneurs, risk-takers, small business owners, large industry leaders, venture capitalists, and more. It’s a call for all capitalist hands on deck.

Keep the American Dream alive.

Support Mitt Romney; donate to his one-term fund today!

*Speaking on Neil Cavuto’s FOX News TV program this afternoon, contributor Monica Crowley said “Newt would have walked over his grandmother’s grave for this endorsement.”

► Jayde Wyatt

WSJ: “Bain Capital Saved America”

Artwork by Chad Crowe

Daniel Henninger wrote this excellent article in yesterday’s The Wall Street Journal, Opinion section.

Rick Perry and Newt Gingrich would lead voters to believe that Mitt Romney was involved in some kind of evil for his work at Bain Capital. Americans know differently. Governor Romney does need to find opportunities to provide the many examples of how his turn-around work improved the lives of thousands of families.

Henninger’s opinion piece is outstanding.

Not only did Bain Capital save America, but no matter what turn Mitt Romney’s political career takes, Bain Capital may stand as the best of Mr. Romney’s lifetime contributions to the nation’s economic well-being. If only he’d tell the story.
[...]
Properly understood, the 1980s, including Bain, were the remarkable years when an ever-resilient America found a way to save itself from becoming what Europe is now—a global has-been.
[...]
Read through S&P’s justification for last week’s downgrades of nine European countries. Along with the expected dumping on those countries’ fiscal profligacy, one finds as well a blunt recognition of Europe’s moribund “fundamentals,” meaning their ability to produce “strong and consistent” economic growth.

If not for Bain Capital and the other, bigger players who commenced a decade of leveraged buyouts and hostile takeovers in the 1980s, the odds are that the U.S.’s “fundamentals” would be similarly weak. Instead, the U.S. corporate sector remade itself during the Bain years.
[...]
Thousands of Mitt Romneys allied with huge pension funds representing colleges, unions and the like, plus a rising cadre of institutional money managers, to force corporate America to reboot. In the 1980s almost half of major U.S. corporations got takeover offers.

Singling out this or that Bain case study amid the jostling and bumping is pointless. This was a historic and necessary cleansing of the Augean stables of the American economy. It caused a positive revolution in U.S. management, financial analysis, incentives, governance and market-based discipline. It led directly to the 1990s boom years. And it gave the U.S. two decades of breathing room while Europe, with some exceptions, choked.
[...]
Mr. Romney’s answer appears to be that voters want to keep hearing about him and his management résumé. Voters don’t want one man’s story. They want someone who understands how the next 10 years can produce an American economy that offers the opportunities for them that the 1980s produced for Mitt Romney.

* * * * * CAPITALISM * * * * * *

“What’s immediately profitable is the only kind of logic that capitalism understands.” — Susan George

“Whether we look at capitalism, taxes, business, or government, the data show a clear and consistent pattern: 70 percent of Americans support the free enterprise system and are unsupportive of big government.” –Arthur C. Brooks

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Jon Huntsman Drops out of Race; to Endorse Romney Tomorrow at 11AM in South Carolina

First, the expected . . . Jon Huntsman is dropping out of the race.  The writing has been on the wall for weeks on this part of the news.  Huntsman never had national polling over 3 or 4 % and the fact that he didn’t (couldn’t) “play” in Iowa or South Carolina and put all his proverbial eggs in the New Hampshire basket did not bode well for the former Utah Governor/Ambassador to China.  But finishing a distant third in New Hampshire earlier this week was really the nail in the Huntsman campaign’s coffin.  Story here:

CHARLESTON, S.C. — Jon M. Huntsman Jr. informed his advisers on Sunday that he intends to drop out of the Republican presidential race, ending his candidacy a week before he had hoped to revive his campaign in the South Carolina primary.

Mr. Huntsman, who had struggled to live up to the soaring expectations of his candidacy, made plans to make an announcement as early as Monday. He had been set to participate in an evening debate in Myrtle Beach.

Now the “less-than-expected” part  which caught me totally off-guard, especially given the rocky history between the two (second and more detailed source here)   Geraldo and Carl Cameron on Fox News just mentioned that this even caught the Romney Campaign Staff off-gaurd as well:

Matt David, campaign manager to Mr. Huntsman, confirmed the decision in an interview Sunday evening. “The governor and his family, at this point in the race, decided it was time for Republicans to rally around a candidate who could beat Barack Obama and turn around the economy,” Mr. David said. “That candidate is Gov. Mitt Romney.”

This source says the Press Conference will be at 11AM tomorrow.

Team Romney will gladly accept and appreciate this gracious endorsement from Governor Huntsman.  This will also allow Huntsman Sr to be free to endorse Mitt (which he did in 2008) and I’m sure Mitt’s Super PAC will start to see some money flowing from the Huntsman’s way.  That sure can’t hurt, eh?  This will be an extra boost before tomorrow’s debate where I’m sure it will be mentioned.   The Romney Train is picking up steam . . . time to get on board folks!!

~Addendum from Ross
VIDEO for the announcement and endorsement

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