Monday, December 01, 2008

Obama Introduces His Team and Outlines Vision

You can read his full remarks, as well as the remarks of the appointees, and the questions and answers here. But I offer some highlights to illustrate why he's outstanding.

Also, he actually answered the questions asked and when he didn't he said so, and said why. Last week Obama said that his hope for Thanksgiving next year is that the American people would feel they could trust the government. Answering questions is a good way to start rebuilding that trust. And he said a lot of good things in the questions and answer period, you can see for yourself at the link above.
The common thread linking these challenges is the fundamental reality that in the 21st century, our destiny is shared with the world’s. From our markets to our security; from our public health to our climate –we must act with the understanding that, now more than ever, we have a stake in what happens across the globe. And as we learned so painfully on 9/11, terror cannot be contained by borders, nor safety provided by oceans alone.


And so, in this uncertain world, the time has come for a new beginning – a new dawn of American leadership to overcome the challenges of the 21st century, and to seize the opportunities embedded in those challenges. We will strengthen our capacity to defeat our enemies and support our friends. We will renew old alliances and forge new and enduring partnerships. We will show the world once more that America is relentless in defense of our people, steady in advancing our interests, and committed to the ideals that shine as a beacon to the world: democracy and justice; opportunity and unyielding hope – because American values are America’s greatest export to the world.

To succeed, we must pursue a new strategy that skillfully uses, balances, and integrates all elements of American power: our military and diplomacy; our intelligence and law enforcement; our economy and the power of our moral example.
This is how Obama concluded his opening remarks:

We move forward with the humility that comes with knowing that there are brave men and women protecting us on our frontlines, diplomats and intelligence officers in dangerous corners of the world, troops serving their second, third, or fourth tours, FBI agents in the field, cops on the beat, prosecutors in our courts, and cargo inspectors at our ports.

These selfless Americans whose name are unknown to most of us, will form the backbone of our effort. If we serve as well as they are serving, we will protect our country and promote our values.

And as we move forward with respect for American's tradition of a bipartisan national security policy and a commitment to national unity, we have to recall that when it comes to keeping our nation and our people safe, we are not Republicans or Democrats. We are Americans. There's no monopoly of power of wisdom in either party.

Together, as one nation, as one people, we can shape our times instead of being shaped by them. Together, we will meet the challenges of the 21st century not with fear but with hope.

I also liked what Eric Holder had to say, on two fronts -
The Department of Justice plays a unique role on this team. It is incumbent those of us who lead the department to ensure not only that the nation is safe but also that our laws and traditions are respected. There is not a tension between those two. We can and we must ensure that the American people remain secure and that the great constitutional guarantees that define us as a nation are truly valued.
that would be a reference to the terror legal memos.

And then he said this
National security concerns are not defined only by the challenges created by terrorists abroad but also by criminals in our midst, whether they be criminals located on the street or in a board room.
I felt good after watching this today

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