Sen Obama is heading overseas this summer on a quest to add foreign affairs experience to his resume. In July he will head to Britain, France, Germany, Israel and Jordan to discuss terrorism, nuclear proliferation and climate change. All of this in an effort to write a speech that includes foreign policy initiatives and look Presidential (hopefully he’ll wear a tie).
Obama’s supporters will see this as brilliant and groundbreaking policy while blasting McCain for his trips to Mexico, Columbia and (recently) Canada. What Obama’s supporters won’t talk about is how their candidate will not go to Iraq because he knows that once there he will have to say something good about the progress being made in that country. They will also not concede the fact that Obama’s trip is purely a show, designed only for foreign policy photo ops, while McCain’s trips have to do with real issues, such as immigration and the economy and trade.
Obama knows that as November inches closer he will need something to point to on his resume. In debates, when faced with foreign policy questions, he will not be able to answer ” When I was in this country….” or “Having met with this leader or that leader….”, whereas McCain will be able to cite 20 years + of foreign affairs meetings. In discussions about the economy, Obama can’t cite specific things he has supported or introduced into the legislature as a Senator because he has no specific experience on the issue, nor has he talked to the leaders of any foreign nation about how to stop or stem illegal immigration. McCain, on the other hand, can point to specific decisions he has made in the Senate and cite discussions with foreign leaders about immigration and it’s effect on the US economy. And while all of McCain’s decisions and legislative attempts have not been popular or passed, at least he put his neck out to try to enact reform, not just talk about it as if it were the Holy Grail.
So as Sen Obama prepares to talk about the weather with European heads of state, let’s hope he packs a tie for those photo ops. Afterall, those pictures will look good framed when he redecorates his junior Senator’s office come November.