Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Obama's Foreign Policy Experience

Per Huffington Post: Hillary Clinton has now gone on the attack against Obama's foreign policy experience. Key quote:

"Voters will have to judge if living in a foreign country at the age of 10 prepares one to face the big, complex international challenges the next president will face," Clinton said. "I think we need a president with more experience than that, someone the rest of the world knows, looks up to and has confidence in."

I know she meant this as a rhetorical question and all, something where the answer is supposed to be obvious: Obama living in Indonesia when he was a kid is less important than all of Hillary's junkets to foreign countries over the years. Problem is: the portion of Obama's childhood spent in Indonesia is one of his most important and, yes, relevant qualifications for the job. Having actually lived in another part of the world as a normal person (read: not as a dignitary), Obama actually understands that there is a hell of a lot more to the world than the United States of America, press conferences, and summits with foreign dignitaries.

I've only spent a relatively short period of time in my life outside of the US, but I've learned this much in life: you learn a hell of a lot more about the rest of the world sitting in a foreign neighborhood bar, or at a poker table in a foreign casino than you do by sightseeing. And, I'm sorry, but formal meetings and dinners with foreign leaders and press corps are a lot closer to "sightseeing" than they are to the actual experience of hanging out casually with an Average Josef who doesn't give a rat's ass who you are. In Hillary-land, having your ass kissed because you're married to the world's most powerful man gives you a better understanding of the world than actually experiencing life someplace other than the US.

Ok, rant over- you can return to your normal lives.