The Buzz

BuzzChatter Thursday: Obama lays out vision of foreign policy that fails to satisfy his critics

Obama at West Point
Obama at West Point KansasCity

Happy Thursday.

“Here’s my bottom line: America must always lead. If we don’t, no one else will. The military that you have joined is and always will be the backbone of that leadership. But U.S. military action cannot be the only — or even the primary — component of our leadership in every instance.” — President Barack Obama on Wednesday laying out his vision for America’s foreign policy.

Obama hoped the address would appease hawks who have urged him to be more assertive. But his critics said the speech fell short. Arizona Sen. John McCain, a Republican, called the address insufficient and said the president mischaracterized his foes as clamoring for military conflict.

“I really believe that Hillary Clinton has the presence, the experience and the support of the vast majority of Democrats in a way that I have not seen in my lifetime. She has this if she wants.” — California Gov. Jerry Brown referring to the presidential nomination of the Democratic Party in 2016.

Brown is an old Clinton irritant, so his remarks to The Washington Post carried some weight. At 76, “Governor Moonbeam” has been around the block and now has served two stints as California governor. He is, believe it or not, an elder statesman.

“There is a difference between wanting change and leading it to happen.” — Kansas Sen. Jerry Moran, a Republican, criticizing the Obama administration on its handling of the VA hospital controversy.

Moran pointed to a new Inspector General report on allegations surrounding the Phoenix VA. The report focused on scheduling practices that concealed treatment delays for veterans. The report confirmed that some vets were forced to wait up to 115 days for care. “How many more studies is it going to take for this administration to take action?” Moran asked.

“Now she sings the songs the Creator gave to her when the river and the tree and the stone were one.” — former President Bill Clinton on the passing of Maya Angelou.

A president remembers the poet who spoke at his first inaugural in 1993.