Political commentary from Andrew Malcolm
Coincidence or not, President Obama and a Republican front-runner who would replace him, Mitt Romney, gave dueling speeches to American veterans today. Romney to the Veterans of Foreign Wars in San Antonio, Obama to the American Legion in Minneapolis.
As we often do, we are publishing the full texts of both addresses so that Ticket readers can see for themselves the scope and nuance of the men's spoken words. Gov. Romney's address is now available in excerpt and full text form by clicking here.
Now, some Obama excerpts:
There are some special guests here I want to acknowledge. They may have already been acknowledged, but they're great friends so I want to make sure that I point them out. First of all, the wonderful governor of Minnesota, Mark Dayton, is here. Two senators who are working on behalf of veterans every single day -- Amy Klobuchar and Al Franken. Congressman Keith Ellison -- this is his district. Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak, a great friend....
We’re still digging out from the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression. It’s taking longer and it's been more difficult than any of us had imagined. And even though we’ve taken some steps in the right direction, we've got a lot more to do....
We Americans have been through tough times before, much tougher than these. And we didn’t just get through them; we emerged stronger than before. Not by luck. Not by chance. But because, in hard times, Americans don’t quit....
We salute the extraordinary decade of service rendered by the 9/11 Generation -— the more than 5 million Americans who've worn the uniform over the past 10 years....
We see the wages of war in those patriots who never came home. They gave their all, their last full measure of devotion, in Kandahar, in the Korengal, in Helmand, in the battles for Baghdad and Fallujah and Ramadi. Now they lay at rest in quiet corners of America, but they live on in the families who loved them and in a nation that is safer because of their service....
America’s military is the best that it’s ever been. We saw that most recently in the skill and precision of our brave forces who helped the Libyan people finally break free from the grip of Moammar Qaddafi....
We’ve still got some work to do. We got to break the backlog of disability claims. I know that over the past year, the backlog has actually grown due to new claims from Agent Orange. But let me say this -- and I know Secretary Shinseki agrees -- when our veterans who fought for our country have to fight just to get the benefits that you’ve already earned, that’s unacceptable. So this is going to remain a key priority for us....
We’re facing some tough choices as we put our fiscal house in order. But I want to be absolutely clear: We cannot, we must not, we will not, balance the budget on the backs of our veterans....
I’ve proposed a Returning Heroes Tax Credit for companies that hire unemployed veterans and a Wounded Warrior Tax Credit for companies that hire unemployed veterans with a disability. When Congress returns from recess, this needs to be at the top of their agenda....
Now, the full Obama text:
President Obama's remarks to the American Legion, as provided by the White House
THE PRESIDENT: Hello Legionnaires! It is wonderful to see all of you. Let me, first of all, thank Commander Foster for your introduction and for your lifetime of service to your fellow Marines, soldiers and veterans. On behalf of us all, I want to thank Jimmie and I want to thank your entire leadership team for welcoming me here today. Thank you very much.
Your National Adjutant, Dan Wheeler; your Executive Director, your voice in....
Coincidence or not, President Obama and a Republican frontrunner who would replace him, Mitt Romney, gave dueling speeches to American veterans today. Romney to the Veterans of Foreign Wars in San Antonio, Obama to the American Legion in Minneapolis.
As we often do, we are publishing the full texts of both addresses so that Ticket readers can see for themselves the scope and nuance of the men's spoken words.
First, some Romney excerpts:
Today we are united not only by our faith in America. We are united also by our concern for America....
Have we ever had a president who was so eager to address the world with an apology on his lips and doubt in his heart? He seems truly confused not only about America’s past but our future....
We stand near a threshold of profound economic misery. Four more years on the same political path could prove disastrous...
This is the first time in my memory that massive defense cuts were proposed without any reference to the missions that would be foreclosed and the risks to which our country and its men and women in uniform would be exposed. Cuts of this magnitude can only be the product of one of two mistaken beliefs.
On the one hand is wishful thinking that the world is becoming a safer place. The opposite is true. Consider simply the Jihadists, a near-nuclear Iran, a turbulent Middle East, an unstable Pakistan, a delusional North Korea, an assertive Russia, and an emerging global power called China. No, the world is not becoming safer.
And so, on the other hand, that leaves us with the belief that America should become a lesser power. It flows from the conviction that if we are weak, tyrants will choose to be weak as well; that if we could just talk more, engage more, pass more U.N. resolutions, that peace will break out. That may be what they think in that Harvard faculty lounge, but it’s not what they know on the battlefield!
But American leadership is more than a budget fight. America must lead with clarity of intent, a commitment of purpose and unlimited resolve....
Our Air Force is now older and smaller than it has been for decades. Our Navy has fewer ships than it is has had since World War One. The Navy says it needs 313 ships to fulfill its missions around the world. It only has 284 ships and we’re on track to drop down to the low 200s....
During World War Two, we built 1,000 ships per year with 1,000 people in the Bureau of Ships – the purchasing department, if you will. In the 1980’s we built 17 ships per year, with 4,000 people in purchasing. Today, for 9 ships a year, it takes 25,000 people!
We’ve lost a couple of years, but we haven’t lost our way....
Now, here is the full Romney text:
Gov. Mitt Romney's Address to the Veterans of Foreign Wars, as provided by his office
It’s a privilege to be addressing the veterans who defended our liberty in the past, and who defend the memory and dignity of every veteran today.
I was born in 1947 – a quintessential baby boomer. I grew up in the shadow of....
Republican Sharron Angle gave us all sorts of things to ponder during her failed 2010 bid to oust Democratic Sen. Harry Reid. Now, Nevada's doyenne of head-scratching statements -– who once characterized entitlement programs as a form of idolatry –- is returning to the political arena, where she'll likely dole out more.
Angle, a former state lawmaker and a "tea party" darling, announced this month that she would vie for the congressional seat that Republican Rep. Dean Heller is vacating to run for the Senate. Many Republicans in the Silver State groaned. They'd prefer an establishment candidate, such as Lt. Gov. Brian Krolicki or state GOP Chairman Mark Amodei, who wouldn't carry as much baggage into the general election.
In her race against Reid, Angle raised millions of dollars and charmed a number of voters with her warm persona. But the unpopular Reid still trounced her by about 6 percentage points. To be sure, Angle ran a flawed campaign, but what ultimately sank her was Reid's barrage of commercials drubbing her lightning-rod statements.
Angle often speaks in fiery rhetoric that simultaneously rallies her conservative supporters and turns off moderates. For example, when asked what she'd tell a teenager who'd been impregnated by her father, Angle essentially said she'd encourage the girl to give birth, turning "what was really a lemon situation into lemonade."
Not the best metaphor.
To outdistance Angle, a tireless campaigner, her rivals will likely ...
At Arlington National Cemetery, rocks are placed on headstones to symbolize a visit.
As families across America remembered the fallen, politicians paid tribute to veterans in person and also by using Twitter to send messages to their followers on Veterans Day.
Traditions may be evolving but the messages of....
Social media wrap: Defense Department utilizes solar power, Jessica Simpson (as White House goes green)
The Defense Department is increasing its focus on using solar energy in overseas operations (and it has nothing to do with actress Jessica Simpson raising temperatures during a visit to the mess deck of the USS Harry S. Truman).
It’s no joke, though. In fact, the military's move toward renewable energies comes amid the deathly seriousness of increasing attacks against U.S. fuel convoys in Afghanistan’s Khyber Pass, another national newspaper has reported.
A California company of Marines arrived recently in Helmand Province replete with “portable solar panels that fold up into boxes; energy-conserving lights; solar tent shields that provide shade and electricity; solar chargers for computers and communications equipment,” the newspaper said. It reported that U.S. military leaders plan to “rapidly expand their use” of such materials in future.
The military’s move toward renewables was saluted by Democratic congressman Earl Blumenauer of Oregon, who tweeted:
"DoD using renewables makes sense - safer troops, decreased costs, jumpstart to important part of ....
[Updated 12:01 a.m.]
JoeLieberman (Connecticut): We didn’t win today, but we can win this fight this year. http://bit.ly/cTTSPR #DADT
Senate_GOPs @KayBaileyHutch and @JohnCornyn Statements on the Defense Authorization Bill http://bit.ly/aY92gW
Grahamblog (Lindsey Graham, South Carolina): Democrats are playing politics with the defense authorization bill. http://bit.ly/9Kergw (Audio) #sctweets #scpol
John McCain (Arizona): Senator McCain Leads The Fight Against Democrats Attempt to Politicize ...
Fortunately, Sen. Barack Obama was about as wrong as he could possibly be opposing President Bush's 2007 troop surge in this news video from the former state senator's favorite TV channel.
As one result, the vacationing president and, this week, the peripatetic vice president are busy celebrating the U.S. military's success in Iraq with the withdrawal this month of the last American combat brigade.
Of course, the Democrats are not dumb enough to repeat the notorious "Mission Accomplished" banner of the previous administration. Nor is the White House No. 2 going to repeat his notorious claim from a February "Larry King Live" show that Iraq represents one of Obama's "great achievements."
Today, in an Indianapolis speech to the Veterans of Foreign Wars, Joe "Let's Divide Iraq Into Three Parts" Biden did not mention his opposition to the Bush troop surge either. But he was naturally effusive in his praise of American service personnel, present and past.
Two other things to note in this administration's public relations war wind-down:
A) The administration's third commander in Afghanistan in 19 months, Gen. David Petraeus, as JB so carefully put it today in a speech to the Veterans of Foreign Wars in Indianapolis, "now has all the resources that the strategy calls for." (Full text below.)
B) What's missing from Biden's remarks about all the sacrifices being made as it was missing from Obama's 4,582-word West Point speech announcing his second Afghan troop surge and outlining a strategy there (including a pre-announced withdrawal starting next July), is the key word: "Victory."
Additionally, 50,000 heavily-armed American troops still remain in Iraq for....
Sacked last week by Democratic President Obama as the military commander in Afghanistan, four-star general Stanley McChrystal has notified the Army that he intends to retire.
The long-time Special Forces soldier, who spent 34 of his 55 years in the military, has yet to turn in the paperwork, but he's already informed the Pentagon retirement folks that he'll be leaving. Obama has named President Bush's favorite general, David Petraeus, to return to the battlefield as McChrystal's replacement.
McChrystal and his tough-talking aides were way too candid within earshot of a Rolling Stone writer in recent weeks. It was , as VP Joe "Smartass" Biden would put it, "a big effing deal." Bluntness is admired in battle but less so when dealing with....
With many political eyes turning to November, the nation's politicians are getting focused again on -- of course -- money. How to get it, spend it, force opponents to spend theirs while you save it.Well, you didn't seriously think they'd forget about the green stuff for too long, did you?
From the BP oil spill to the national deficit to winners of the recent Tuesday primary votes trying to harvest some off their victories, here's the latest Facebook and Twitter feeds.
DavidVitter (Senator, R-La.) Introduced legislation to stop Sen. Reid & liberals from raiding #oilspill clean up trust fund. http://bit.ly/9wtLdE #Louisiana #Gulf #NOLA
DavidVitter Pushed my bill to eliminate cap on BP’s liability. Liberal NJ Sen. who has legislation to cap BP @ $10B, blocked it. http://bit.ly/cdT7sP
TransportGOP Mica: oil spill trust fund is no BP piggy bank: http://bit.ly/bJLobD
SharronAngle (Gubernatorial challenger, R-Nev.) RT @jslconsulting: Congrats to @SharronAngle for raising over $100K in 24 hours! #tpp #tcot #BeatReid | Thanks for the mention! #nvsen
SenatorMenendez (Senator, D-N.J.) Starting today $250 checks will be sent to seniors who hit the Rx drug 'donut hole', the first step in closing the hole
JeffFortenberry (Rep. D-Neb.) Will soon be testifying on my bill to promote entrepreneurship opportunities for veterans before the Veterans... http://bit.ly/aqF7H5
RepJoeBarton (Rep. R-Tex.) Dems eye stimulus to pay teachers http://amplify.com/u/6tps
GOPLeader just gave POTUS this statement from 100+ economists saying cut spending now to create jobs http://bit.ly/bCrouE #tcot #hcr #teaparty
DBowen (Secretary of State. D-Calif.) On hold for LADWP. Their website billing function is back on line, but that's not enough to avoid the need to talk to a live human being.Tim Pawlenty (Gov. R-Minn.) Click on the Donate Facebook tab today and refill my veto pen to support candidates who will cut Washington's out-of-control spending!
RandyNeugebauer (Rep. R-Tex.) RT @PeterRoskam Please RT this if you think 90% debt to GDP ratio is way too high. From @FOXnews this AM: http://bit.ly/aYOZUO
Cory Booker (Mayor. D-N.J.) "Self-respect is the fruit of discipline; the sense of dignity grows with the ability to say no to oneself" Abraham Joshua Heschel
-- Craig Howie
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Photo: Brian van der Brug