National Security Took Backseat in State of Union

Address light on foreign policy as Obama focuses on 'wounded' US
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 28, 2010 5:26 AM CST
A South Korean man pushes a cart past TV monitors showing Presdient Obama's State of the Union address.   (AP Photo/Lee Jin-man)

(Newser) – President Obama spent just 9 minutes of last night's speech on the subject of America's relations with the rest of the world. He warned Iran over its nuclear program and spoke of China as an economic threat, but made no mention of Middle East peace talks or the row with China over Internet freedom, Helene Cooper notes in the New York Times.

The president adopted a more conciliatory tone than his predecessor, Cooper notes. He offered an olive branch to Republicans on security issues and didn't issue any direct challenges to foreign leaders. Former Clinton administration official David Rothkopf says he "can’t recall a state of the union that devoted less time or attention to foreign policy issues than this one." Obama has judged that Americans are "wounded" and "looking inward," Rothkpopf noted.

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