James Forsyth

How Obama views the world

How Obama views the world
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This essay on Barack Obama’s foreign policy is well worth reading for an insight into the candidate’s thinking and his growing frustration with Hillary Clinton. One quote stood out to me as revealing how different Obama is from Hillary: 

Ask Nye why Hillary’s paint-by-the-numbers foreign policy makes her more qualified to handle a crisis when for most of our history our crises have come from using force when we shouldn’t, not by failing to use force.”

Personally, I think Obama’s analysis here is too simplistic but it is striking that he is prepared to say this given the emphasis that post-Carter Democratic presidential contenders give to projecting strength and toughness.  Obama genuinely seems to believe that he is capable of talking the world round to America’s position. Certainly, he’s better equipped to do that than any of the other candidates—as he puts it:

if you can tell people, ‘We have a president in the White House who still has a grandmother living in a hut on the shores of Lake Victoria and has a sister who’s half-Indonesian, married to a Chinese-Canadian,’ then they’re going to think that he may have a better sense of what’s going on in our lives and in our country. And they’d be right.”

But his overall foreign policy vision still seems too centred on the appeal of sweet reason and lacking in an appreciation that there are real enemies out there who have no genuine interest in dialogue.

Written byJames Forsyth

James Forsyth is Political Editor of the Spectator. He is also a columnist in The Sun.

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