April 08, 2008

Obama: Foreign Policy Expert?

Yes, that his roughly what Barack Obama asserted during a fundraiser in San Francisco, according to the Huffington Post:

Last night at a fundraiser in San Francisco, Barack Obama took a question on what he's looking for in a running mate. "I would like somebody who knows about a bunch of stuff that I'm not as expert on," he said, and then he was off and running. "I think a lot of people assume that might be some sort of military thing to make me look more Commander-in-Chief-like. Ironically, this is an area--foreign policy is the area where I am probably most confident that I know more and understand the world better than Senator Clinton or Senator McCain."

"It's ironic because this is supposedly the place where experience is most needed to be Commander-in-Chief. Experience in Washington is not knowledge of the world. This I know. When Senator Clinton brags 'I've met leaders from eighty countries'--I know what those trips are like! I've been on them. You go from the airport to the embassy. There's a group of children who do native dance. You meet with the CIA station chief and the embassy and they give you a briefing. You go take a tour of a plant that [with] the assistance of USAID has started something. And then--you go."

"You do that in eighty countries--you don't know those eighty countries. So when I speak about having lived in Indonesia for four years, having family that is impoverished in small villages in Africa--knowing the leaders is not important--what I know is the people. . . ."

Barack Obama lived in Indonesia from 1967 to 1971. Born in 1961, he's admitting that he brings to the table the foreign policy experience of a 6-10 year old... is that really the depth of experience that he thinks American voters want in a leader? If so, my experiences playing with G.I. Joe when I was that age qualify me to be Secretary of Defense.

As for Obama's family in "small villages in Africa" I'm not sure he wants Americans to focus very much on them.

Supporters of Barack Obama's cousin Raila Odinga were behind an ethnic cleansing campaign that killed more than 600 in Kenya in January of this year, and part of that included burning men, women, and children alive in a church. Odinga had also promised to institute harsh Sharia courts throughout the country and ban the teaching of Christianity if elected... change Kenyan Islamists can believe in.

As for the experience of his presidential opponents, Obama may have a point about fellow Democratic contender Hillary Clinton having little experience beyond exclusively political trips, but Obama's foreign experiences pale in comparison to those of John McCain, a man born in Panama who moved around the Pacific and the United States as a child as he followed his father's U.S.Navy career. He also built up an impressive travel resume on his own, some of which Obama might have heard about.

In 1982 while running for office in Arizona, McCain delivered a line on his residency in various parts of the world to an opponent that Obama may well want to remember when attempting to play up his own meager life experiences, foreign policy or otherwise:

"Listen, pal. I spent 22 years in the Navy. My grandfather was in the Navy. We in the military service tend to move a lot. We have to live in all parts of the country, all parts of the world. I wish I could have had the luxury, like you, of growing up and living and spending my entire life in a nice place like the first district of Arizona, but I was doing other things. As a matter of fact, when I think about it now, the place I lived longest in my life was Hanoi."

McCain, of course, has gone on to develop a bit more foreign policy experience since then as a representative to the House and later as a four-term Senator.

Obama? He may have watched Sesame Street in Indonesia while his Kenyan relatives learned communism in East Germany.

Not quite the same thing.

Update: Fellow N.C.-blogger Sister Toldjah has closely-related thoughts.

Posted by Confederate Yankee at April 8, 2008 11:59 AM

I agree with Obama on this one. McCain's clueless.

Posted by: ER at April 8, 2008 01:40 PM

"Barack Obama lived in Indonesia from 1967 to 1971. Born in 1961, he's admitting that he brings to the table the foreign policy experience of a 6-10 year old..."

Pathetic by Obama

Posted by: grrrrrrrrrrrrrr at April 8, 2008 02:53 PM

Yippee, I am a foreign policy expert because I lived in Europe as a little kid. I also lived in the Virgin Islands around the time of Granada and saw a battlegroup sail by. So I am a military expert. I also pay taxes, went to school, shot a M1 Garand a bunch of times, etc.
Vote for me for president.

Posted by: David at April 8, 2008 03:34 PM

If Osama's childhood experiences qualify him as a foreign policy expert consider his claims at economic expertise based on his possession of a piggy bank.

Posted by: Thomas Jackson at April 8, 2008 05:09 PM

If this is all the foreign policy expertise Obama brings to the table...he should beat McSame handily.

Posted by: Frederick at April 8, 2008 05:25 PM

This lop eared pup makes statements like this and gets people to seriously back him for President. Maybe we need to install some sort of intelligence requirement to be able to vote. Obama is the least qualified candidate to run for the office of President.

Posted by: Zelsdorf Ragshaft III at April 8, 2008 05:26 PM

"Obama is the least qualified candidate to run for the office of President."

Well, that automatically gets him 25-30% of the vote in the USA.

Posted by: iconoclast at April 8, 2008 06:07 PM

I'm not so much on "experience" as a qualifier. It is fair to ask, just what has our experience been with you? and it is easy to spin any reply tendetiously. However in an absence of experience we will look to other qualities. Sadly for Obama, it seems he must hide his true opinions and intentions as they are general election poison. That these same aspects are primary ambrosia for Dems should be a brisk slap in the face for these cats but, alas, no. Rather they aspire to wrench the nation, willingly or not, to the Left; socialism at home and defeatism abroad. This obviously is what it takes to nominate a Dem. If this gets one elected President the end of ordered liberty is truly nigh. But I don't think so.

Posted by: megapotamus at April 9, 2008 11:49 AM