James M. Lindsay

The Water's Edge

Lindsay analyzes the politics shaping U.S. foreign policy and the sustainability of American power.

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Biden Touts Obama’s Foreign Policy, Bashes Romney’s

by James M. Lindsay
April 26, 2012

Vice President Joe Biden speaks at New York University on April 26, 2012. (Lucas Jackson/courtesy Reuters) Vice President Joe Biden speaks at New York University on April 26, 2012. (Lucas Jackson/courtesy Reuters)


Joe Biden gets ribbed for being long-winded. But in a speech this morning at New York University he offered a pithy summary of what looks to be the Obama campaign’s “sales pitch” on foreign policy.

The case for Obama?

President Obama ended the war in Iraq responsibly. He set a clear strategy and end date for the war in Afghanistan. He cut in half the number of Americans serving in harm’s way. He decimated Al Qaeda’s senior leadership. He repaired our alliances and restored America’s standing in the world. And he saved our economy from collapse with bold decisions, including the rescue of the automobile industry–and that has made us stronger abroad…

If you are looking for a bumper sticker to sum up how President Obama has handled what we inherited, it’s pretty simple: Osama bin Laden is dead and General Motors is alive.

And against Romney?

Governor Romney is counting on our collective amnesia. But Americans know that we cannot afford to go back to the future. Back to a foreign policy that would have America go it alone… shout to the world you’re either with us or against us… lash out first and ask the hard questions later, if at all… isolate America instead of our enemies…waste hundreds of billions of dollars and risk thousands of American lives on an unnecessary war… and see the world through a Cold War prism that is totally out of touch with our times.

That’s pretty clear messaging: OBL dead, GM alive, & Romney=Bush. Expect to hear it a lot over the next six months and eleven days.

We shall see what Romney counters with.

But for now, game on.

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