I would think that these two went a long way last night toward erasing any bad taste left in the mouths of Democrats after their recent campaign performances. Both speeches were rhetorically masterful.
More importantly, they sold the foreign policy responsibilities of the next president.
Clinton, who is gearing up for CGI (we’ll be live-blogging), left these highlights:
Our position in the world has been weakened by too much unilateralism and too little cooperation; a perilous dependence on imported oil; a refusal to lead on global warming; a growing indebtedness and a dependence on foreign lenders; a severely burdened military; a backsliding on global non-proliferation and arms control agreements; and a failure to consistently use the power of diplomacy, from the Middle East to Africa to Latin America to Central and Eastern Europe.
Clearly, the job of the next president is to rebuild the American dream and restore America’s standing in the world.
He will work for an America with more partners and fewer adversaries. He will rebuild our frayed alliances and revitalize the international institutions which help to share the costs of the world’s problems and to leverage our power and influence. He will put us back in the forefront of the world’s fight to reduce nuclear, chemical and biological weapons and to stop global warming. He will continue and enhance our nation’s global leadership in an area in which I am deeply involved, the fight against AIDS, TB and malaria, including a renewal of the battle against HIV/AIDS here at home. He will choose diplomacy first and military force as a last resort. But in a world troubled by terror; by trafficking in weapons, drugs and people; by human rights abuses; by other threats to our security, our interests and our values, when he cannot convert adversaries into partners, he will stand up to them.
Barack Obama also will not allow the world’s problems to obscure its opportunities. Everywhere, in rich and poor countries alike, hardworking people need good jobs; secure, affordable healthcare, food and energy; quality education for their children; and economically beneficial ways to fight global warming. These challenges cry out for American ideas and American innovation. When Barack Obama unleashes them, America will save lives, win new allies, open new markets and create new jobs for our people.