A TALE OF TWO PRESIDENTS – AT 6:35 P.M. ET: There's a great deal of comment across the internet on the way foreign and defense policy was almost ignored in the president's speech last night. It's really quite startling, considering the challenges we face. Compare please with a past president:
(CNSNews.com) – President Obama dedicated considerably less of his State of the Union address to foreign policy issues than did five previous presidents in their speeches of similar or shorter length.
About 850 words of Obama’s 7,080-word address – around 12 percent of the total – dealt with foreign affairs.
In contrast, President George W. Bush in his last SOTU devoted some 2,200 words (38 percent of the total) to foreign policy issues. That 2008 speech, Bush’s longest, was more than 1,300 words shorter than Obama’s Wednesday night address.
A comparison of the two speeches reflects the two presidents’ differing priorities.
Obama made one reference to “freedom” (“America must always stand on the side of freedom and human dignity”) compared to 10 references by Bush in 2008.
“Liberty” did not make an appearance in Wednesday’s speech; Bush used the word eight times.
Obama mentioned “terrorists/terrorism” three times and “al-Qaeda” twice; Bush in 2008 used “terror,” “terrorism” or “terrorists” 23 times and “al-Qaeda” 11 times. Bush additionally used the words “extremists” or “extremism” nine times.
COMMENT: Wasn't Obama the president who was supposed to put America on a higher moral plane? Make us more respected?
Respected among whom? Given his choice of language, we must be doing awfully well among despots, dictators and Iranian mullahs. For them, Obama is change they can believe in.
January 28, 2010