The word put in quotes is "swagger," and that ought to mean somebody said that. The word appears once in the article. After a few sentences on Romney's "far tougher approach to the world" and Obama's emphasis on "diplomacy and partnerships, and American assistance where wanted without heavy-handed demands from the top," we get:
“It’s very clear in reading and hearing what the two candidates have to say that, at least rhetorically, there would be a significant change under President Romney,” said Karl F. Inderfurth, an assistant secretary of state in the Bill Clinton administration who is now a senior adviser at the Center for Strategic and International Studies.So, apparently Inderfurth used the word "swagger," perhaps only to characterize the feeling some people got from George Bush (that cowboy), but Romney has never — as far as I can see — said we need "swagger," and Romney's manner seems wholly different from George Bush's. It seems modest and mannerly. The word "swagger" seems more applicable to Obama, who's been killing enemies with drones and likes to point out that he killed bin Laden.
Inderfurth, who is not working with either campaign, said some of the “swagger” of the George W. Bush administration would return to U.S. foreign policy under Romney.
“Obama has tried to tone that down, and he has faced pushback for doing so,” he said.
It's rather annoying to see WaPo quote a supposed expert telling us what's "very clear" in the rhetoric and then slap the label "swagger" on it. Show us the rhetoric, and let us judge. I'm displaying your rhetoric, so my readers can judge.
Until now, the campaign has been concerned mostly with the economy, and foreign policy has been viewed largely as a strength for the president, who was behind the killing of Osama bin Laden.So, I suspect, you're putting out this article, with that front-page headline, in an effort to help shore up the fortunes of your favored candidate. Let's find a way to scare voters... equate Romney with Bush!
But the recent unrest in the Muslim world — revealed in the attack in Benghazi, Libya, on Sept. 11 that killed Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens and three other Americans — has exposed Obama politically and been seized upon by Romney as a product of what he calls the president’s weak engagement of the world.
The conflicting philosophies Obama and Romney outlined this week are consistent in large part with their life experiences.
Those backgrounds have given each a different vantage on the world — a former chief executive’s broad-strokes view of how it should work and a former community organizer’s details-matter assessment — and different opinions about the best way to promote U.S. interests at a time of fiscal constraint at home and rapid change abroad.What?! You're just going to make generalizations about the 2 men based on what they did in the parts of their careers when they were not politicians, and Romney's long career as a business executive is translated into a "broad-strokes view of how it should work" and Obama's short bit of time performing the little-examined role of "community organizer" shows he's a details guy! And the suggestion is that Obama actually got things done while Romney floated above it all with ideas about what "should work." Businessfolk can just believe in big dreams? Is there any evidence at all the Romney didn't have to pay attention to the facts on the ground as he went about these business enterprises, that he didn't get tested over and over by whether things actually did work?
If we keep going and click over to page 2 and scroll halfway down (which I think very few readers will do), we get to more contrasts between Obama and Bush, with Obama the "realist, free of the 'freedom agenda' ideology." Obama doesn't talk freedom ideology?
Obama’s choice of force... is the drone strike, which he has expanded greatly from the Bush years on similarly contested legal ground.So he is like Bush. Even more than Bush.
[Obama's] realism has often felt arid to those trying to understand it, too calculating and lacking in passion for U.S. values and power. This is the vein Romney has sought to tap.Lest you think Romney might have an advantage here, please picture him draining blood from one of Obama's veins. (The normal metaphor using "vein" has to do with mineral deposits, and the verb should be "mine" not "tap.")