My hope for tonight is that our president clearly and forcefully takes credit for just about the best foreign policy, and foreign policy team, this country has had in decades.
His administration found and killed Osama bin Laden, navigated the difficult and turbulent waters of Arab Spring, isolated Iran and imposed crippling economic sanctions on this outlaw country, begin a withdrawal from Iraq, cleared the way for withdrawal from Afghanistan, and managed to encourage rebels in Syria without being drawn into another war.
They’ve worked constructively to help Europe see its way out of its bizarre austerity economics. They’ve maintained an open line to China, and even coaxed China to allow the yuan to appreciate; while at the same time maintaining clear boundaries with regard to ocean rights and potential conflicts in space.
They’ve worked with our allies instead of against them, as did George W. Bush administration. They’ve been careful not to rush to judgment, as did the prior administration. They’ve shown admirable restraint when restraint was most needed, again in sharp contrast to George W. Bush.
The record is not perfect. I wish the Obama administration would have done more to cut unnecessary military outlays.
And I wish it had been far more concerned that it seems to have been about civil liberties: Guantanamo should have been closed by now; no American should be denied due process of law merely because he is deemed an “enemy combatant;” and the moral authority of this nation is undermined whenever we kill innocent civilians.
But on these counts a Romney administration would be far, far worse.
In all, foreign policy is Barack Obama’s strongest suit. Mitt Romney, meanwhile, has consistently put his foot where his mouth ought to be. Tonight’s outcome should be a clear victory for Obama.