May 6, 2015

"Governors can certainly read about foreign policy, and take briefings and meet with experts, but there is no way they’ll be ready on Day One to manage U.S. foreign policy."

Said Senator Marco Rubio, a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, attempting to distinguish himself from some of his rivals for the GOP nomination for President.

Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker gives the response you'd have written for him if it was your job to write spiffy responses: "I think he’s questioning how Ronald Reagan was ready."

I got those quotes from a Fox6 article with a headline that I found odd: "Governor Scott Walker blames President Obama, Hillary Clinton for world violence." What is Fox6? I see the article is really by CNN. I read the article looking for material that justified that headline. I didn't find it.

37 comments:

MadisonMan said...

I can appreciate Walker's reply, but there is a monumental difference between Reagan and Walker. Reagan's work and life took him all around the world before his Presidential run.

Walker, not so much.

sparrow said...

BS Reagan was ready

MadisonMan said...

(Bad link for the Fox6 article)

J. Farmer said...

Quick recap of Rubio's foreign policy thinking: thinks Iraq War was a good idea, enthusiastic supporter of Obama's action in Libya, loudly argued for arming jihadists in Syria to attack Assad, and wants to wreck all diplomacy with Iran in order to favor a maximally aggressive line up to and including military attack.

So, yes, Rubio will be ready on Day One to continue with all the same bad assumptions and ham-fisted military adventurism that has been the cornerstone of US foreign policy for the last decade and a half.

The Drill SGT said...

but there is no way they’ll be ready on Day One to manage U.S. foreign policy.""

Foreign policy is the areas of the Executive/Congress boundary where the Congress has the least oversight. Senators in no way manage foreign policy.

Governors, OTOH, often understand a lot about international trade and treaties. I suspect that Walker can give classes to Rubio on EU trade protection of products and how that impacts US businesses. e.g. Cheese marketing and sales. I bet he can do the same on US Japanese trade and the issue of agricultural tariffs.

Rusty said...

MM

Lets review our current foreign policy position as promulgated by our current resident.
Hmmmm.
Walker couldn't possibly do any worse.

Hagar said...

You come into office, and it is a new world whether you are a governor or a senator.
What we may look at is how you handled unexpected challenges in the past. With action that is; talk does not count that much.

machine said...

But he did work at McDonalds...

Brando said...

Senators don't necessarily have foreign policy expertise either. Most presidential candidates need a lot of advisers on their campaign to get them up to speed on those issues, as usually only those who are immersed in the foreign policy workings of the government really have relevant "experience" in that area.

And then there's Hillary, whose "experience" isn't really a positive.

MadisonMan said...

Walker couldn't possibly do any worse.

You want the bar to be that low?

Brando said...

One of Palin's big mistakes in the 2008 campaign was to try and pretend that being governor of a state close to Russia gave her some foreign policy cred--better to own the fact that governors don't really do foreign policy, but that if you have good judgment and good advisers you can learn what you need to (Bush Jr., Clinton, Reagan, Carter, and FDR all were just governors before becoming president and whatever you think of their foreign policies they didn't prove any more "green" than JFK, Truman, LBJ, Nixon or Obama).

A Senator could sit on the Foreign Affairs or Armed Services Committees, or be briefed on some foreign issue when a trade or use of force bill comes up. They also go on junkets from time to time. But this is hardly the same as being a career foreign service officer.

I get that Rubio needs to make this attack--it helps blunt the charge that as a Senator he hadn't the governing experience that Walker et al have. But the thing people will be paying attention to is the candidates' analysis of current events and their knowlege after a quick study.

Gabriel said...

Oh good Lord.

Senators aren't responsible for anything. They vote on stuff. They try to evade responsibility even for that much.

If reading about foreign policy was enough to make a President good on foreign policy, we would elect pundits.

In a President you are not looking for a wonk. A President has people to know the details. No human being can possibly learn enough details about everything.

A President has to set a direction. He has to have wisdom, not knowledge.

(Last wise president? I think I'd argue Coolidge or Eisenhower, but Reagan wasn't bad, wise but not smart. Clinton was smart and canny. Obama is smart but not wise. Smart AND wise is maybe Winston Churchill, and how often do those come along?)

A President should not have an insider's perspective on foreign policy or anything else, because he represents the nation. He should not share the knowledge and assumptions of a specialized discipline or he is going to favor that discipline at the expense of everyone else.

I'd much rather have a governor as President, all else being equal.

Gabriel said...

Reflect that the smartest and best educated Presidents, in the last century, were Herbert Hoover and Woodrow Wilson.

Smart people think they can quickly grasp the necessary facts and devise a solution to a problem. But they can't tell when they can't do it, and if they are not wise they can't tell that they SHOULDN'T do it.

In my experience very smart people are rarely wise. Wisdom lives within one standard deviation of the mean, toward the high end.

Phil 3:14 said...

If only governing was just a series of hearings.

Ron Snyder said...

Reagan spent 50 years getting ready.

Larry J said...

To an extent, every new president has to learn on the job. There's no other job in America that's comparable. The president is both the Chief Executive and Commander in Chief. Governors have much more executive experience than senators, and while they're the Commander in Chief of their state's National Guard, that pales in comparison to the US military as a whole. Business leaders may have a lot of executive experience, but government isn't a business. If it were (and held to the same legal standards as businesses), it would be bankrupt with many people on their way to jail.

machine said...

...and the GOP would not nominate him in 2016.

David said...

Reagan?
Carter?

I guess it depends.

MisterBuddwing said...

Oh, yes, the conventional wisdom on selecting a presidential candidate: A governor brings administrative experience, while a U.S. senator (or maybe even a U.S. Rep.) has more world affairs expertise.

Whatever you thought of him as president, Bill Clinton certainly showed a lot of interest in world issues before he became Arkansas governor; I guess that's what made him stand out in the field.

Big Mike said...

I see that the latest poll has Jeb Bush in seventh place in Iowa (which will not, however, actually hold its caucuses for another nine months). That always was his problem -- he could raise money, but to what end? Who plans to vote for him?

AJ Lynch said...

I wish these candidates would bash DEMS daily and also state what they are for instead of what they are against.

Suggestion:

Tweet every morning ...It is now XX days since Hillary Clinton has taken questions from the press. And here is one question I would ask her today...

Then Do a Daily Bash of Dems and Big Govt Incompetence:
And I see the IRS gave away $5.6 Billion in incorrect tax refunds for bogus education credits last year.That is a shame, we could have used that money to fix Baltimore!

That is how I would run a campaign.

Rusty said...

machine said...
But he did work at McDonalds...


Your point being?

Rusty said...

MadisonMan said...
Walker couldn't possibly do any worse.

You want the bar to be that low?



The bar IS that low.
Walker can only improve our foreign relations if he just doesn't piss off our allies any more.

bbkingfish said...

No matter what the question, Reagan is the answer.

Go GOP!

MayBee said...

You come into office, and it is a new world whether you are a governor or a senator.
What we may look at is how you handled unexpected challenges in the past. With action that is; talk does not count that much.


Exactly.

What is your worldview in general?
We knew Obama was kind of apologetic about America. We knew he thought meeting with Assad, Kim, and the leaders of Iran was just hunky dory.
He had no foreign policy experience, other than to just go on PR tours to foreign countries.
From that, we could have gathered what his FP would be like.

We can do the same with new candidates.

Real American said...

Do senators "manage" anything? Not in any meaningful way. Governors, on the other hand, "manage" an entire state government and implement the policies of the state. Senators take briefings and read papers and meet with "experts", but don't "manage" to actually "manage" anything.

Hagar said...

Let us say war breaks out in some country and the American residents there call for help to get out.

Do you send the Navy?
Or do you suggest they call the Indian embassy and beg for help from their navy?

The navy of the attacking nation makes threatening moves on our Navy.

Do you tell our Navy to withdraw?
Or do you tell them to show some teeth?

Some of this has to do with "expertise," but it is mostly about who you are.

mccullough said...

Rubio thinks Cuba is an important country.

mccullough said...

HW was the last President who excelled in foreign affairs and the use of military force. Good judgment is hard to find

Hagar said...

The next president is going to have to deal with a much more complex and dangerous world than what it was in 2008, and from a much weakened position.

Anonymous said...

Rubio forgets that the last republican presidential candidate, Romney, a former governor, exhibited a greater grasp of foreign policy than the eventual winner in that contest.

It's post-truth America, a phrase that may work its way into the 2016 campaign, although certainly not like Reagan's, "It's morning in America."

And what's this crap about flying around the world as experience, if that were true shouldn't we be voting for a flight-attendant for the job? Or Joe Biden?

Russell said...

I suppose we should remind Senator Rubio that the current Secretary of State spent quite a long time on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and I'm confident in saying it did not make him at all capable of managing US foreign policy.

cubanbob said...

@Gabriel, that was exceedingly well said. it's an observation on something so obvious yet hardly ever recognized: senators only vote unlike governors who govern and are held responsible. An intelligent, competent governor is more than capable of selecting a capable secretary of state. Unless one gets a wrecker like Obama in the oval office, US national interests and the underlying US foreign policies don't change all that much from one Administration to another.

JFarmer the thing about Obama is that after setting the bar so low anyone who isn't certifiably insane and is a US citizen in full possession of their civil rights and is 35 years old is more than capable of and would be considered capable of being president.You know, like a drunk on a corner,that drunk just might be even more qualified than Obama.

cubanbob said...

@mccullough you may have missed it but Obama thinks Cuba is a real country as well.

cassandra lite said...

Doesn't the current president, a former senator, negate Rubio's comment even better than Walker's retort?

hombre said...

We have certainly gotten a sample with this administration of what foreign policy controlled by U.S. Senators looks like.

Pathetic!

Billy Oblivion said...

You mean as opposed to one or two term senators who've never run a large organization, never actually been held accountable or responsible for anything, never had to lead?

Rubio isn't *IN CHARGE* of Foreign Policy, he just gets briefed on it.

Oh, and there's a 2 1/2 month lag between election and raising the right hand. Plenty of time.