Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice's wildly-popular speech Wednesday night posed the question "Where does America stand?" at the Republican National Convention in Tampa kicking the foreign policy debate into high gear among Republicans.
"We cannot be reluctant to lead," ... "And you cannot lead from behind. Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan understand this reality, that our leadership abroad and our well-being at home are inextricably linked," Rice said.
Speaking with bloggers at the Tampa Convention Center, former White House spokesman Ari Fleischer echoed her sentiments and confessed that President Obama's foreign policy mystify him.
"I don't know what his foreign policy is," he said. "The president has a meandering, weak foreign policy with no consistency. He said in Libya he had to contain a crisis, but what we've seen in Syria has been far worse and he's sat back."
Photo by Erica Holloway
The tender underbelly of the Obama Administration was exposed by Romney's foreign trip during the Olympics, as it had promised the President would make a visit to Israel in the his "second term."
Indeed, the much-discussed Israel storyline threaded throughout this week-long Republican event, with several events hosted daily by the American Jewish Coalition, a clear nod to Romney's presence at -- and Obama's complete absence from -- the side one our of the nation's strongest allies.
Virginia delegate Erin Smith noted the need for a tighter relationship in Jerusulem.
"Our strong alliance with Israel in the past created more peace in the Middle East than would have otherwise been possible," Smith said. "Strong leadership in the United States does bring comfort to the world. I don't see that we're providing that right now. There's some floundering. I think we need stronger leadership in the White House right now."
Despite his scrutiny of the current administration, Fleischer did note what he believes is the one and only win on which Obama can hang his foreign policy hat.
"He continued a lot of the efforts President Bush put in place, even though he criticized the president for them" he said, giving a little praise to his former boss. "I credit him for changing his position and supporting those initiatives, including, of course, what he did with Bin Laden."
It's that very success that confuses the burned-out military families, with long deployments continuing and casualties now tallying at more than 6,200.
But as Rice said Wednesday, "the world is a chaotic and dangerous place."
And Republicans believe it is Mitt Romney who will make it safer.
Follow BlogHer Contributing Editor Erica Holloway @erica_holloway.
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