This, of course, is no surprise to any non-Obama partisan who has simply been paying attention over the past eight years. Time after time, Mr. Obama has been outmaneuvered by other world leaders, and respect for Mr. Obama among world leaders is anything but high. The lack of any coherent policy other than not being George W. Bush has been embarrassingly obvious.
But for a man who briefly served as Mr. Obama's own Secretary of Defense to openly say that much only underscores just how serious the problem truly is. And in an article for Politico, Michael Crowley quotes Gates in support of his premise that
Many Obama supporters started out believing that the president had grand ambitions for replacing George W. Bush's militaristic posture with a more enlightened and progressive approach to the world before coming to believe they had misread a president who was not the idealistic internationalist they had thought he was. In hindsight, it seems clear that Obama came to office far more focused on showing the world that the Bush era was over than on any coherent strategy of his own for advancing human rights or democracy.
Once again, this underscores the absolute necessity of electing a successor to Mr. Obama who is not only tough but above all knowledgeable about international relations and national security issues. Hillary Clinton's track record does not inspire confidence, and in view of their backgrounds and statements on such matters the qualifications of Donald Trump, Ted Cruz, and Rand Paul are laughable.
Lindsey Graham might have been a good choice from this perspective. Jeb Bush still would be. So would Marco Rubio, whose lack of experience is compensated for to some extent by his intelligence and his willingness to learn.
But this is an election in which America cannot afford to elect a president in a fit of pique or as a demonstration of dissatisfaction with Washington. Our country's very security depends on our having something we haven't had for the past eight years: a president who can go toe-to-toe with Vladimir Putin and the other major players on the international scene and deal with them as an equal.
HT: Real Clear World