May 8, 2011

Now Obama Can Start Fresh Abroad

James Traub, Foreign Policy

AP Photo

I was in the audience in Washington on Aug. 1, 2007, when candidate Barack Obama gave thespeech in which he famously declared, "If we have actionable intelligence about high-value terrorist targets [in Pakistan], and President Musharraf won't act, we will." I didn't consider that bit of bluster the headline; I was much more struck by his insistence that in the post-9/11 world, "we are no longer protected by our own power." Shows what I know. The campaign aides I spoke with in the ensuing days were tremendously frustrated that the real message of the speech had been lost in a noisy debate over whether Obama was trying to swagger his way to the nomination.

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TAGGED: Washington, Barack Obama, candidate


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