Obama’s recent trip seems to have shored up his foreign policy standing and as the convention draws near, the distinction becomes clearer between him and Senator John McCain
Senator Barack Obama’s recent overseas trip designed to solidify his foreign policy credentials appears to have accomplished what it was intended to do. Visiting the troops, surveying the war torn areas of Afghanistan and Iraq, and meeting with foreign leaders have placed Obama’s foreign policy credentials on solid footing. His detractors, including his Republican counterpart, have put a different spin on the trip for obvious reasons: they believe that Senator John McCain’s claim of foreign policy superiority was his overall hope for a victory in November. However, now that Obama appeared to have destroyed that myth, McCain and his people will have to re-focus their energies and resources in another direction—maybe on the domestic front.
Obama has sought to energize the electorate with a different message, a different style and a different candidacy. His message of change coupled with ending the occupation of Iraq, have new resounded beyond the nation’s borders especially with the frontline troops who really need a ‘change’ in their war-weary tours of duty. So the focus of Obama’s change message is now being applied at home and abroad. (In contrast to McCain whose hangs onto the so-called success of the ‘Surge,’ Obama has not been distracted by the temporary pause in an otherwise misguided foreign policy fiasco).
In order to understand the “change” element of Senator Obama’s presidential campaign, it is necessary to look at what the Senator wants to change—the status quo or business-as-usual in politics in general and in Washington, D.C., in particular. Describing his campaign, Obama has said, “I am asking you to believe not just in my ability to bring about real change in Washington, I’m asking you to believe in yours [your own ability to bring about change]. We are the change we seek. When you look at the economic issues that matter most to women, [Senator John] McCain will not bring change, I will.”
Not only has Obama spoke out against the war before the invasion, he has repeatedly state, on the campaign trail that he wants to end the occupation of Iraq after taking office in January 2009. The billions that are being spent monthly in Iraq is the number one drain (and cause) of the nation’s economic woes.
McCain, on the other hand, often mentions staying in Iraq because “the ‘Surge’ has been so successful” and that he knows how to win the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. However, if the so-called wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are won (whatever that means) at the economy “at home,” it will have been a pyrrhic victory.
The over-riding issues that are now facing the country, from the voters’ point of view, is the economy. However, would the country and the economy be in such miserable shape had the current administration, along with McCain not arbitrarily invaded a sovereign country in search of non-existent weapons of mass destruction? Though the answer to that question, at this time, would not necessarily solve the country’s problem, it would definitely point to whose judgment should be taken in such far-reaching matters—Obama or McCain.