PLEASE, STAY HOME….Former President Bill Clinton caused a bit of a stir recently when he suggested Hillary Clinton, if elected, would send her husband and H.W. Bush around the world to help repair the United States’ image after seven years of deteriorating global standing. (Bush 41 reportedly isn’t interested.)
In light of Clinton’s comments, Bush was asked at a White House press conference last week if he would consider a “goodwill mission to restore the country’s good name abroad.” The president said, “That’s what I do during my presidency. I go around spreading goodwill and talking about the importance of spreading freedom and peace.” He didn’t appear to be kidding.
In either case, it wasn’t an off-hand comment — the president is apparently planning some road-trips.
President George W. Bush’s diplomatic passport will acquire a slew of new country stamps during his final year in office as he tries to rebuild the U.S.’s international standing and create a foreign-policy legacy beyond Iraq.
The president plans trips to the Middle East, Africa, Asia and South America, which would make 2008 his busiest year abroad. While his major domestic initiatives may get stalled by a Democratic majority in Congress and the gridlock caused by election-year politics, he still has an opportunity to exert his influence overseas. […]
While the president will strive to strengthen alliances, it won’t come at the expense of continuing to prosecute the war on terror, said Jim Jeffrey, the deputy White House national security adviser.
“We want to be well-perceived in the world,” Jeffrey said in an interview. “But more importantly, we want to formulate policies that will protect the American people.”
With all due respect to Bush and his team, maybe we’ll be “well-perceived in the world” if the president stays home and changes his policies, instead of traveling abroad and keeping his existing policies? Just throwing that out there.