Democratic Party leaders–including Howard Dean, Madeleine Albright and Nancy Pelosi–opened up the DNC last night at a reception hosted by the National Democratic Institute by calling, virtually in unison, for Obama to restore American leadership in the world. They pledged to the audience, which included a delegation of Georgian government officials, that an Obama Administration would return the United States to its position as a “strong partner with the rest of the world.”
Although Dean told me he couldn’t “talk foreign policy” (or give me an On Day One idea), he did then proceed to run down a litany of actions that an Obama Administration–and the Democratic Party–would take to work more constructively with the world. He touched on all the usual, albeit critical, steps that an Obama Administration could begin with, including bringing the Iraq war to a close, working with and treating our allies with respect, and (perhaps directed towards the Georgian delegation) opposing authoritarianism while defending democracy and human rights. Pelosi followed suit, committing that an Obama Adminstration and a Democratic Congress would “work together for the freedom of mankind.”
While the rhetoric certainly wasn’t anything new, it underscored both major parties’ continued commitment to greater international cooperation should Obama win in November. Indeed, as noted here earlier, the selection of Joe Biden brings a committed internationalist on to the ticket. Given the public’s concern about America’s standing in the world, this is certainly smart politics.
Russ Carnahan, one of the Party’s up-and-comers, finished off the night by offering his ideas for Day One, which reaffirm many of Dean's and Pelosi's statements.