Tag Archives: Barack Obama 2012

Crash Course on Barack Obama’s Foreign Policy Successes

Today I researched  President Obama’s foreign policy achievements in the last four years, in order to  prepare for  watching the debate tonight.  The entire debate will be on Foreign Policy.   This relevant article appeared in the Huffington Post on 07/06/2012.  

Here’s what I found…

The Huffington Post 

[...]

By any reasonable standard, Obama’s first-term foreign policy record is nothing short of astounding. On issue after issue, Obama has shown a steady — indeed, steely — resolve that has earned him major kudos from foreign policy specialists in both parties. Consider, for example, the following:

    • Two major U.S. land wars, both started by George W. Bush, are winding down. Obama, to the consternation of his base, pushed for a major “troop surge” in Afghanistan, but he alsostared down his top generals and resisted their demand for a prolonged counterinsurgency and nation-building campaign. The Taliban is reeling, and the American pull-back, starting this summer, is real. Obama also resisted pressure to reverse the Iraqi withdrawal and wisely brought in members of the Bush-era negotiating team to help seal and bless the deal.
    • Obama boldly intervened in Libya to oust dictator Muammar Gadaffi and to protect Western oil supplies, and he did it with minimal financial cost and no U.S. troop casualties. Moreover, in contrast to his predecessor, he didn’t act unilaterally but weighed in behind Europe and NATO. Republicans who charged the president with reckless “adventurism” have ended up with egg on their face. In fact, respect for multilateralism is back — and under Obama, it’s no longer just the “soft” option.
    • Obama has forged the closest American defense ties with Israel of any recent U.S. president, including Bush, while continuing to push for Israeli concessions on a Palestinian homeland. Obama has moved deftly, even winning strong support from the Israeli public, which says it wants its leaders to consult with Obama before taking future military action.Support from American Jews, despite concerns over friction between the White House and the Israeli Prime Minister, is holding steady.
  • Obama has also made China a key strategic priority, confronting Beijing on human rights, trade warfare, and economic spying, while bolstering America’s military presence in the Pacific. Donald Trump may think America is getting snookered but most Americans, it turns out, see Obama’s actions as judicious. In fact, leading foreign policy conservatives, includingRobert Kagan, who was a national security adviser to John McCain, and has periodically advised Romney himself, have strongly praised Obama’s entire Asia policy.

Some of Obama’s strongest foreign policy critics, in fact, aren’t on the right but on the left, which is disappointed that Obama hasn’t closed the base at Guantanamo, has eagerly embraced “drone” warfare, and has denied more Freedom of Information Act requests than his predecessor. But such criticism — while justified in some areas — is short-sighted overall. Obama has initiated some seismic shifts in national security doctrine that have a real chance of reducing the prospect of global war. Most notably:

    • Obama has quietly but forcefully revised the Pentagon’s long-standing “two-war” strategythat required an enormous conventional force structure supported by hundreds of American military bases. Under a new Obama plan, the number of soldiers in the Army and the Marines will decline by a remarkable 10-15 percent over the next decade, and a possible36 percent over the long haul. And base closures, already on the increase, will accelerate. The Obama shift means, in effect, that the U.S. is no longer contemplating a protracted land war on its own.
  • Just as dramatic are the significant steps that Obamas has taken to reduce the threat of nuclear war by shrinking American and Russian nuclear weapons arsenals to their lowest levels ever. The arms reduction process actually started under the first George Bush, but Obama is proposing to take it much further, tackling the more difficult deep-cuts, especially in tactical weapons, all the while working with Russia to force smaller nuclear states to slow or eliminate their own weapons programs.

What does Romney have to offer, by contrast? A return to Bush-era neo-conservativism managed by the same people who brought us the Iraq war, and who see any retreat from American unilateralism as a sign of military weakness. They include former Bush State department officialsEliot Cohen and John Bolton, who’ve been pushing Romney to attack Obama for abandoning Israel and for crippling America’s nuclear and conventional war capabilities. They’re also suggesting that Obama is weakening the United States in the face of threats from Iran and failing to intervene decisively to bring down the regime in Syria.

Fortunately, much of the foreign policy establishment, including Republicans like former Secretary of State James Baker, aren’t biting. In fact, there’s even growing concern over Romney’s call for a huge increase in U.S. defense spending over and above what the Pentagon under Obama is seeking. Romney’s spending hike would cost the Treasury an additional $2.1 trillion, undermining the GOP’s ostensible commitment to deficit-reduction, without necessarily enhancing U.S. defense capabilities.

How much does foreign policy matter? In the end, in a close race, it could matter a lot. One foreign policy expert, Bruce Jentleson, has noted that 8-10 percent or more of U.S. voters consistently say that foreign policy drives their vote. And the fact is, even those voters who say they’re mostly concerned about their “pocketbook” still form powerful impressions about candidates and their leadership abilities based on more than their records as economic “stewards.” These days, most voters know that America lives in a global world and that domestic and foreign policy are related, even if they’re not always sure how. It’s really up to the president to show how his handling of the trade deficit, increases in defense spending, or the threat of war can directly affect whether the economy grows or stagnates.

Some Obama successes, like his adroit handling of China, are inextricably tied to future jobs growth, in part through the recapturing of American jobs via “in-sourcing,” It makes no sense not to make this connection more explicit. Other foreign policy accomplishments could help the president with specific voter groups, including disillusioned youth and veterans, both of whom are showing strong signs of defection. Obama’s nuclear and conventional force reductions, for example, could galvanize his peace supporters but, as long-term deficit-busting measures, could appeal more widely, too.

In short, Obama seems to have a real opening on foreign and defense policy, which is something of a rarity for a Democratic presidential candidate. But he needs to seize this advantage now, before Karl Rove & Co. begin launching the kind of national security attack campaign that helped derail John Kerry’s bid for the White House in 2004. Developing a broader reelection narrative will allow voters to appreciate just how much is at stake in the election this November. It will also sharply contrast the two candidates’ leadership abilities and their fundamentally different visions for how America should confront the deeply intertwined global and domestic challenges of the 21st century.

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New Obama Ad Goes After Mitt Romney On Big Bird

 

Obama Ad Big Bird

Politics 2012…

The Huffington Post

The Obama campaign is out with a new TV ad, going after one of Mitt Romney’s most memorable lines from last week’s presidential debate: his desire to cut funding for PBS and its beloved Big Bird.

Since the debate — which Romney was widely acknowledged to have won — President Barack Obama has been campaigning around the country, saying his GOP challenger “plans to let Wall Street run wild again, but he’s bringing the hammer down on Sesame Street.”

Elmo, you better make a run for it!” joked Obama last week at a campaign event.

The latest tongue-in-cheek ad shows pictures of notoriously corrupt financial figures — Bernie Madoff, Ken Lay and Dennis Kozlowski — and states there is an “evil genius” who towered over them.

“One man has the guts to speak his name,” says the narrator, with the ad then flashing to Romney saying “Big Bird” repeatedly — followed by Big Bird cheerfully saying his own name.

“Big, yellow, a menace to our economy. Mitt Romney knows it’s not Wall Street you have to worry about it, it’s Sesame Street,” adds the narrator.

The ad ends with a cute shot of Big Bird in his nest, with his teddy bear, sleeping: “Mitt Romney, taking on our enemies no matter where they nest.”

Continue reading below the video…

 

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Romney Campaign Falsely Accuses Obama Of Gutting Welfare In New Ad

One has to wonder what is the method to GOP presumptive presidential candidate Mitt Romney’s insistence on lying on his campaign ads attacking President Obama?

It could be that he knows his “Fox News watching base” is rather dense on many areas about politics and simply hate the President,  so they would believe anything Romney says about Obama.

The problem with that line of thinking is that he already has the votes from his base. He needs to sway independents to believe him, which might be more difficult…

The Huffington Post

Mitt Romney’s campaign continued to attack President Barack Obama over welfare reform with the release of a new ad on Monday, once again falsely stating that the president dropped work requirements from welfare.

The ad, titled “Long History,” is the second ad from the Romney campaign to claim that Obama has “gutted” welfare. The campaign’s previous ad on welfare, released just last week, was widely criticized as inaccurate and debunked by numerous fact checkers.

The Obama administration announced in July that states could seek waivers from certain welfare rules, but in doing so they would have to provide ideas for projects and initiatives that would do a better job of increasing employment among welfare recipients. Furthermore, the Obama administration has made it clear that it would not drop requirements for states that failed to promise better work outcomes.

Yet in the new ad, the narrator states, “On July 12th, Obama quietly ended work requirements for welfare. You wouldn’t have to work and wouldn’t have to train for a job.”

Continue reading here…

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Eric Fehrnstrom: Auto Bailout Was Mitt Romney’s Idea

Come on Mitt, you seem to want to claim everything the POTUS has done to help the economy, but you call him a miserable failure.  Which is it?

The Huffington Post

Top Mitt Romney adviser Eric Fehrnstrom claimed that President Obama’s auto bailout was the GOP presidential hopeful’s idea.

Fehrnstrom said Obama followed Romney’s course to help the auto industry during an appearance at a Saturday roundtable discussion hosted by the The Washington Post.

“His position on the bailout was exactly what President Obama followed,” Fehrnstrom said. “He said, ‘If you want to save the auto industry, just don’t write them a check. That will seal their doom. What they need to do is go through a managed bankruptcy process.’”

“The only economic success that President Obama has had is because he followed Mitt Romney’s advice,” Fehrnstrom added.

Fehrnstrom made headlines back in late March for saying that Romney’s GOP primary positions were as erasable as a drawing on an Etch a Sketch. Fehrnstrom’s Saturday comments marked a different drawing on the auto bailout than what Romney penned in a November 2008 New York Times op-ed.

Headlined “Let Detroit Go Bankrupt,” the piece closed with these words:

“In a managed bankruptcy, the federal government would propel newly competitive and viable automakers, rather than seal their fate with a bailout check,” Romney wrote.

According to The Hill, Fehrnstrom pointed to that segment of the op-ed, noting that auto companies are now profitable because of how they cut costs through a“managed bankruptcy.”

“It is exactly what Mitt Romney told them to do,” Fehrnstrom said.

Over the course of the 2012 campaign, President Barack Obama’s campaign has highlighted the successes of his administration’s 2009 auto bailout, headed by the 1.4 million jobs that were saved in the process. In a March 2012 ad entitled “Made In America,” Obama’s campaign did not forget Romney’s ’08 stance.

“When a million jobs were on the line, every Republican candidate turned their back, even said, ‘Let Detroit go Bankrupt,’” the ad said.

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Newt Gingrich: Obama’s Trayvon Martin Statement ‘Disgraceful’

I really don’t like Newt Gingrich…in my mind, he personifies EVIL…

The Huffington Post

Republican hopeful Newt Gingrich slammed Barack Obama on Friday, saying the president’s remarks about the fatal February shooting of Trayvon Martin were“disgraceful.”

President Barack Obama addressed Martin’s death during a Rose Garden appearance earlier Friday, framing the tragedy in personal terms by saying, “If I had a son, he’d look like Trayvon.”Gingrich responded to Obama’s remarksduring a “Hannity Radio” interview:

What the president said, in a sense, is disgraceful. It’s not a question of who that young man looked like. Any young American of any ethnic background should be safe, period. We should all be horrified no matter what the ethnic background.Is the president suggesting that if it had been a white who had been shot, that would be OK because it didn’t look like him. That’s just nonsense dividing this country up. It is a tragedy this young man was shot. It would have been a tragedy if he had been Puerto Rican or Cuban or if he had been white or if he had been Asian American of if he’d been a Native American. At some point, we ought to talk about being Americans. When things go wrong to an American, it is sad for all Americans. Trying to turn it into a racial issue is fundamentally wrong. I really find it appalling.

Gingrich’s comments came amid boiling public outrage over the death of Martin — an unarmed, 17-year-old African American shot by a volunteer neighborhood watchman. The former House speaker commented on the shooting Thursday duringan interview with CNN’s Piers Morgan, calling it a “tragedy.”

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Ralph Reed: Obama Campaign ‘Coming With A Knife In An Alley’

Republican operative Ralph Reed is projecting:

Projection:  According to Sigmund Freud, projection is a psychological defense mechanism whereby one “projects” one’s own undesirable thoughts, motivations, desires, and feelings onto someone else.   (Wiki)

Everything he describes in the video below is what the GOP has done and is still doing to this day against president Obama…

The Huffington Post

President Barack Obama’s campaign will do anything to get him elected, GOP political operative Ralph Reed told Florida Republicans Feb. 16.

“So if you can’t run on your economic record, you can’t run on your foreign policy record, there’s only one kind of campaign to run,” Reed said. “And that is a scorched earth, negative, ‘tear down the Republican nominee’ campaign. And that’s all this is going to be. And they’re coming, and they’re coming with a knife in an alley. That’s what this fight is going to be like.”

Reed told his audience not to underestimate Obama or his campaign team.

“There is nothing they will not do to win an election,” Reed said. “This guy is as tough and as mean and as cynical as any politician you’ll ever see. There is nothing he’s not willing to do.”

Reed is the founder of the Faith and Freedom Foundation and former head of the Christian Coalition. In 2006, he ran for lieutenant governor of Georgia but lost in the primary, partially due to the disclosure of business ties to disgraced lobbyist Jack Abramoff.

The remarks were originally taped by Conservative New Media and picked up by Right Wing Watch.

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John McCain Slips Up, Says ‘Obama Will Turn This Country Around’

It looks like the Old Senator is losing his grip on reality.  This occured yesterday.

Today he did the same thing.

The Huffington Post

While speaking at a campaign rally Thursday in support of GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney, Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) mistakenly professed his faith in President Barack Obama’s ability to improve the economy.

“I am confident, with the leadership and the backing of the American people, President Obama will turn this country around,” McCain said, as seen above in  a video  from Goose Creek Patch.

McCain – who endorsed Romney on Wednesdayjust after the GOP hopeful won the Iowa Caucus by a razor-thin margin — appeared at the rally in Charleston, S.C., along with fellow Romney supporter Gov. Nikki Haley (R-S.C.).

The crowd, as well as Haley and Romney, quickly realized McCain’s error. Haley leaned in to correct McCain, grabbing his elbow.

“Excuse me, President Romney,” McCain said.

The Obama-Romney mix-up wasn’t the only awkward moment during McCain’s appearance.  According to BuzzFeed’s Zeke Miller, McCain made a comment about Clemson University’s “victories on the gridiron.”

Clemson lost the Discover Orange Bowl to West Virginia University on Wednesday night. Miller later tweeted that McCain intended the line as a joke.

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New Hampshire Lawmakers Call For Investigation Into Obama’s Ballot Eligibility, Citizenship

Oh, but “This is not a Birther Issue…”.   Uh, sure, New Hampshire Legislators…

The Huffington Post

A group of New Hampshire lawmakers asked the state attorney general’s office Tuesday to investigate whether President Barack Obama meets the eligibility requirements to appear on the state’s ballot, after their previous attempt to remove his name from the ballot was rejected in November.

Republican state Reps. Laurence Rappaport and Carol and Lucien Vita, say that Obama is not a natural-born citizen because his father was Kenyan. “This is not a birther issue, not a consideration of where Mr. Obama was born,” Rappaport said, according to the New Hampshire Union Leader. “Our concern is only if he is a natural-born citizen.”

The Congressional Research Service wrote in 2011, “There is no provision in the Constitution and no controlling American case law to support a contention that the citizenship of one’s parents governs the eligibility of a native born U.S. citizen to be president.”

Obama was born in Honolulu, Hawaii in 1961. The White House released the president’s long-form birth certificate in April after his campaign released a scanned copy. Some, however, refuse to believe the veracity of the document.

The attorney general’s office doesn’t plan to respond. “There’s no request in it,” said Associate Attorney General Richard Head, according to the Concord Monitor. “I honestly can’t figure it out.”

New Hampshire Democratic Party Chairman Ray Buckley said it showed how “crazy town” has taken over the statehouse.

The New Hampshire Ballot Law Commission rejected an effort in November led by the group’s attorney, “birther queen” Orly Taitz, to remove Obama’s name from the ballot. After the commission unanimously rejected the effort, members in the crowd shouted “Traitors!” and “Shame on you!”

Assistant Attorney General Matt Mavrogeorge and Assistant Secretary of State Karen Ladd locked themselves in an office and called authorities because they feared for their safety, saying that crowd members were banging at the door and yelling. The state attorney general has asked state police to investigate the incident.

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Obama: Rick Perry Is ‘Governor Whose State Is On Fire, Denying Climate Change’

Barack Obama
Image by jamesomalley via Flickr

Needless to say that it’s about damn time!

Mr. President, that Mr. Nice Guy personna is no good when the opposition hates your guts regardless of what you do to appease them.  I hope you’re fired up and ready to go to help get jobs for the people that put you in office in the first place, because we’ve been ready…

The Huffington Post

President Barack Obama swiped at Texas Gov. Rick Perry, criticizing him as “a governor whose state is on fire, denying climate change.”

Obama also poked at the audience reactions at recent GOP presidential debates, singling out those who cheered at the prospect of someone dying because he didn’t have health insurance – and those who booed a gay service member.

The president said “that’s not reflective of who we are.”

He made the comments Sunday at a fundraiser at the Silicon Valley home of John Thompson, chairman of Symantec Corp.


More from HuffPost (quotes courtesy of White House pool report):

Obama hit back at the conservative media, urging supporters to “push back” on the “inadequate information” found on Fox News and the Wall Street Journal’s editorial page.

Speaking to an audience full of supporters, he called the 2012 election “a contest of values.”

“This is a choice about the fundamental direction of our country,” he said. “2008 was an important direction. 2012 is a more important election.”

“We’re going to have a stark choice in this election,” he said. “This is a choice about who we are and what we stand for and whoever wins this next election is going to set the template for this country for a long time to come.”

Watch Obama discuss his jobs bill in his weekly address:

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