I've been waiting for the rubber to meet the road with Barack Obama. His rocket ride to the highest levels of American poiltics has been a lot of sizzle, and just enough substance to keep the afterburner kicking.
I was patently disappointed when the Senator released his 'solution' for global warming last week. It combines technocratic half steps and half measures (reductions in the greenhouse intensity of the American auto fleet) with policy proposals tailored to please the ethanol belt, rather than, you know, actually halt catastrophic climate change. Dubbed, forgettably, the National Low Carbon Fuel Standard — or even worse the NLCFS, in Beltway acronymese — Barack's proposal seems to give lie to the claim that he does not know the 'ways of Washington' and seems to help explain why wonked out senators have such a hard time rising to the White House.
The plan seems cautious and timid and unoriginal — indeed, it is largely a national version of something proposed by Ahnold for California — and just a hair better than Hillary Clinton's ethanol-centric jibber-jabber on the topic.
I was expecting to be similarly disappointed by Obama's foreign policy proposals this week. But I gotta say. Wow.
Really, you gotta read this.
These are the ways we will answer the challenge that arrived on our shores that September morning more than five years ago. A 21st century military to stay on the offense, from Djibouti to Kandahar. Global efforts to keep the world's deadliest weapons out of the world's most dangerous hands. Stronger alliances to share information, pool resources, and break up terrorist networks that operate in more than eighty countries. And a stronger push to defeat the terrorists' message of hate with an agenda for hope around the world.
It's time we had a President who can do this again — who can speak directly to the world, and send a message to all those men and women beyond our shores who long for lives of dignity and security that says "You matter to us. Your future is our future. And our moment is now.
Obama's vision is Reagan's "Morning in America," but on a global scale.
I don't know how well this fearless internationalism is going to play in Peoria. But this is a clear, robust articulation of a highly developed worldview. Whatever he lacks in experience, Obama clearly doesn't lack in insight. He's just raised the bar for every candidate in this race.