Obama’s “philosophical” speech to the 2014 graduates of West Point about a new direction for America’s foreign policy was “not a great” speech for that audience, said CNN anchor Jim Clancy on Wednesday. He said that the president did not sound like a “commander-in-chief speaking to his troops” and got an “icy reception” as a result.
Clancy did not criticize the substance of President Obama’s speech outlining a shift in tactics, specifically as it relates to America’s approach to fighting terrorist groups. However, he did think that the defining of a new foreign policy doctrine was not something the attendees wanted to hear.
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“It was a philosophical speech,” Clancy said. “It was not a commander-in-chief speaking to his troops. And you heard the reception. I mean, it was pretty icy.”
The speech wasn’t even “philosophical,” as Clancy described it — it was defensive. Insisting to your audience, as Obama did yesterday, that you believe with “every fiber” of your being that you believe in American exceptionalism is like what Margaret Thatcher said about being a lady: If you have to tell people, then you aren’t.
Give him credit where it’s due though. Obama has successfully managed to “fundamentally transform” America’s foreign policy. The results might be one disaster after another, with the seeds of future and bigger disaster sown from Eastern Europe to the Middle East to East Asia — but at least he isn’t Bush!