7:06 AM, Jul 15, 2014 • By JERYL BIER
As John Kerry travels from country to country on various diplomatic missions as secretary of state (almost half a million miles so far), he often addresses the staff and their families at the U.S. embassies in the countries he visits. Remarks at these informal gatherings are often more casual than the usual speeches or press appearances, and Kerry often jokes with the staff and recognizes employees of long standing with the State Department. Monday, Kerry had one such opportunity in Vienna, Austria, the last stop on his most recent trip, and towards the end of his talk he recalled his two Yale commencement speeches, forty-eight years apart, where he discussed "sort of the world we’re in" and America's place in it:
...I was privileged to speak to the graduating class of Yale this year, and it was particularly a pleasure because it happened to turn out to be, literally, I hate to say it, 48 years to the day that I was privileged to speak as a graduating senior to my own class. And I talked to them about sort of the world we’re in right now, but at the end I tried to remind them all, which I remind you of, we are – I get always a little uptight when I hear politicians say how exceptional we are – not because we’re not exceptional, but because it’s kind of in-your-face and a lot of other people are exceptional, a lot of other places do exceptional things.
Despite his profession of uptightness on the topic of America's exceptionalism, Kerry went on to close out his remarks explaining what he believes makes America uniquely exceptional:
But we are exceptional in a certain way that no other nation is. We are not defined by thousands of years (inaudible) of history. We are not defined by ethnicity. We are not defined by bloodline or by anything except an idea. And that idea was expressed in the Declaration of Independence and in our Constitution, the idea that people are created equal and that all people have a chance to aspire for greatness, for anything they want. Pretty amazing, right? So think about that. It’s the only country that is literally united and formed around and whose rule of law is based on that idea, one idea, and it’s pretty special. So thank you for representing it. Thank you. (Applause.)
Kerry used similar language in his 2014 Yale commencement address, noting that the American idea is what makes America different: that all are "created equal and all endowed with unalienable rights" and that "America is an idea and we – all of us, you – get to fill it out over time."
It won’t be what the intelligence community predicts. Jan 14, 2013, Vol. 18, No. 17 • By DAVID ADESNIK
"The world of 2030 will be radically transformed from our world today. By 2030, no country—whether the United States, China, or any large country—will be a hegemonic power.” However, the coming transformation will favor emerging powers, “largely reversing the historic rise of the West since 1750.”
2:59 PM, Dec 4, 2012 • By DANIEL HALPER
In an interview with Bloomberg's Julianna Goldman, President Barack Obama stated, "I think America is poised to take off." The main obstacle, in Obama's mind, however, is political dysfunction.
8:20 AM, Jul 31, 2012 • By WILLIAM KRISTOL
Mitt Romney’s stop in Jerusalem will probably remain the highlight of his foreign trip, but his eloquent and powerful speech today in Warsaw deserves more notice than it will probably get. In his remarks, Romney suggests a theme for his trip as a whole and a rationale for visiting the three nations he chose to visit, and sketches the national qualities he finds worthy of praise.
1:23 PM, Jan 27, 2012 • By JEFFREY H. ANDERSON
During last night’s debate, Mitt Romney responded to Newt Gingrich’s proposal that America establish a lunar colony by the end of the decade by saying that if someone presented him with that proposal, “I’d say, ‘You’re fired.’” While one might think Romney justified in firing someone who pitched Gingrich’s specific proposal, Romney gave the distinct impression that he also might have fired John F. Kennedy back in 1962.
11:20 AM, Jan 27, 2012 • By DANIEL HALPER
Josh Rogin reports: “President Barack Obama is personally enamored with a recent essay written by neoconservative writer Bob Kagan, an advisor to Mitt Romney, in which Kagan argues that the idea the United States is in decline is false.”
We’re thrilled that the president is “enamored” by our long-time colleague and contributing editor, and trust it will spur sales of his fine new book, The World America Made.
12:41 PM, Aug 15, 2011 • By THOMAS DONNELLY
With the congressional “supercommittee” – or, to be precise, the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction – now complete, the stage is set for a very high drama indeed. Now comes the moment when Americans must confront the costs of remaining the world’s sole superpower, the guarantor of an international system that has created a generation of great-power peace, widespread prosperity, and unprecedented human liberty.
In speech and interview, T-Paw body checks Obama.1:35 PM, Jun 7, 2011 • By STEPHEN F. HAYES
In a speech that calls for a balanced budget amendment to the Constitution, a slashing of corporate and income tax rates, and emergency presidential powers to rein in spending, former Minnesota governor Tim Pawlenty laid out his economic vision for the country in Chicago today.
7:53 PM, Jun 2, 2011 • By MICHAEL WARREN
Paul Ryan defended America's role as the leading defender of freedom and liberty in a foreign policy address this evening. Speaking to the Alexander Hamilton Society, Ryan, the Republican chairman of the House Budget Committee, laid out a vision that defended America's exceptional role as a world leader and drew sharp contrast to those who advocate for isolationism and withdrawal.
11:11 AM, May 22, 2011 • By DANIEL HALPER
At a commencement address at the University of Notre Dame, Defense Secretary Robert Gates warned against allowing America's might and military to decline.
6:16 PM, May 4, 2011 • By THOMAS DONNELLY
“There are those who say the United States should not be the global policeman. But if not us, who?”
4:19 PM, Jan 14, 2011 • By THOMAS O'BAN
William Galston, senior fellow in governance studies at the Brookings Institute, writer for the New Republic, and founding board member of the recently launched No Labels project, predicts, “the key to Democratic Party success over the next two years will be its strategic response to Obama.”