Skip to comments.Obama touts life in Asia, Kenyan background
Posted on 11/19/2007 4:23:58 PM PST by NormsRevenge
CLARION, United States (AFP) - Democratic 2008 hopeful Barack Obama argued Monday his childhood years in Indonesia and ties to Kenya would make him a better president than rivals who had seen the world on congressional junkets.
Obama's comments were a veiled swipe at his party foes, including front-runner Hillary Clinton, who has questioned if he is ready for the Oval Office.
The 46-year-old senator, who has family in Kenya and spent four years in Indonesia as a child, said little can be learned from tightly controlled official tours of foreign nations.
"You get picked up at the airport by this big convoy of security details," Obama said in a campaign stop in Iowa, which holds its crucial leadoff caucuses nominating contests on January 3.
"They drive you over to the ambassador's house. You get lunch. Then you go take a tour of some factory or some school. Children do a native dance," he told an audience of about 300 people.
Obama said candidates who did not understand foreign cultures, would have a tough time making good foreign policy decisions.
"If you don't understand these cultures then it's very hard for you to make good foreign policy decisions. Foreign policy is all about judgment," said Obama.
"The benefit of my life of having both lived overseas and traveled overseas ... is, I have a better sense of how they're thinking and what their society is really like," Obama said.
"A lot of my knowledge about foreign affairs isn't just what I studied in school -- I studied international relations when I was in college -- it's not just the work I do on the Senate foreign relations committee.
"It's actually having the knowledge of how ordinary people in these other countries live."
Obama has frequently criticized Clinton's judgement on foreign policy, highlighting her vote in 2002 to authorize the Iraq war, as an example.
But Clinton has touted her countless trips abroad in her own right as first lady between 1993 and 2001, and her more than six years experience as a senator.
"It is important that we have a candidate that is tested and a president who is ready to lead from day one," she said, in a Democratic debate last week, in her own shot at Obama.
Obama's remarks came in response to a question about his perceived lack of experience.
Democratic presidential hopeful Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., center, shakes hands with voters after a town hall meeting at Iowa Central Community College in Fort Dodge, Iowa, on Monday, Nov. 19, 2007. (AP Photo/Kevin Sanders)
Please go back to Indonesia, B. Hussein. I’m sure they’d be thrilled to have you.
“I’ve never had any foreign policy experience, except for the playgrounds of Indonesia. Everything I needed to know for this job I learned in Kindergarten.”
Osama should go back where he came from.
Are we ABSOLUTELY sure Obama was born in Hawaii?
Having been to East Africa...including Tanzania,which borders on Kenya and is very similar to Kenya....I can attest to the fact that about the only things of value he could have learned there are about the physiology of goats and the migration patterns of wildebeest and elephants.
Geeze...you'd think that he'd at least *pretend* to have respect for our flag/national anthem!
It’s basic salesmanship to tell the customers that they just happen to need exactly what you just happen to have. Nothing here to take seriously.
Norm....I bet he is out front on his other world education because that is the angle Hillary is gonna hit him with.......Madrassas will be memtioned I bet
According to the web, they're playing the national anthem, not saying the pledge of allegiance. I believe Obama's the only one who isn't screwing up; it's stand for the anthem, hand-over-heart for the pledge.
Pray tell us, Barry. What all did you learn as a 4 year old on your unrestricted travels in Indonesia?
Okay, Barry, you've convinced me. As someone who has spent a few years in Kenya, how should we deal with North Korea's nuclear ambitions?
Well, just golly gee...ya gotta admit that probably no past president or present candidate can claim that -
Well, maybe Teddy Roosevelt. He probably had a couple wildebeest and elephant heads on his wall
When a Democrat starts bragging it can only mean one thing. Get a firm grip on your wallet.
Yeah. That's a winning strategy, Barack, ordinary Americans have always longed to vote a foreigner into the WH!!
But, why you?? Why not a foreigner with experience running a country . . . . . . . . . like Robert Mugabe!!??
What an idiot!!!!
President Obama will insist that every American be reeducated in a foreign Madrassa for several years....to life.
****ing idiot. None of the Democratic candidates (with the exception of Hillary, which is why she is hated by so many Democrats) seem to realize that they are running for PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES, not Secretary-General of the UN.
Yep, we need a good dose of those Indonesian an Kenyan insights and values. Paradises I tell you.
Obama should go after Hillary on this issue--she can't have his understanding of Middle East issues because she never studied in a madrasseh.