Above all, foreign policy is a matter of simultaneously projecting American confidence and American humility. In signaling that he was willing to meet with the leaders of these countries, Obama was signaling that the United States has the confidence in its values to meet with anyone. But he also signaled a certain humility that reflects the understanding that the next president must reach out to the rest of the world and not merely issue conditions from the White House and threaten military force if it does not get its way.
Ari Berman (The Nation):
Mark Schmitt had an excellent op-ed in the New York Times today about how detailed presidential policy papers are given far too much credence. I'd like to suggest that "experience"--a buzzword every election cycle--is also overrated.Howie P.S.: Obama responded to Clinton's charge that his willingness to meet with hostile leaders was "'irresponsible and naive' ":
Ironically, David reminds me that George H.W. Bush tried to use Bill Clinton's inexperience in foreign policy against him in 1992. Al Gore employed the same tactic against George W. Bush in 2000.Those were legitimate questions. Experience matters. But good judgement matters more.
what was "'irresponsible and naive' was voting to authorize the Iraq war."
“What she’s somehow maintaining is my statement could be construed as not having asked what the meeting was about. I didn’t say these guys were going to come over for a cup of coffee some afternoon,” he said.