Who’s In the News
Obama on Obama 2.0 (Laura Rozen – Foreign Policy)
President Barack Obama reviews lessons learned from the first year and a half of his presidency, telling the New York Times’ Peter Baker he focused on policy at the expense of selling them politically. “I think anybody who’s occupied this office has to remember that success is determined by an intersection in policy and politics and that you can’t be neglecting of marketing and P.R. and public opinion,” Obama tells Baker: While proud of his record, Obama has already begun thinking about what went wrong – and what he needs to do to change course for the next two years. He has spent what one aide called “a lot of time talking about Obama 2.0” with his new interim chief of staff, Pete Rouse, and his deputy chief of staff, Jim Messina. During our hour together, Obama told me he had no regrets about the broad direction of his presidency. But he did identify what he called “tactical lessons.”
Clinton, Citing Work With Obama, Urges Unity in Bosnia (Helene Cooper – New York Times)
For Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, Tuesday was a precarious balancing act. In Sarajevo in the morning, she made an impassioned case that Bosnia and Herzegovina should not allow nationalism to break their union apart. And in Belgrade, the Serbian capital, in the afternoon, she appeared to be advocating the opposite. Standing next to Serbia’s president, Boris Tadic, as he declared that Serbia “doesn’t and won’t” recognize the independence of Kosovo, which Belgrade considers part of Serbia, Mrs. Clinton begged to differ. “There are areas where, as the president said, we will not agree, and foremost among them is Kosovo,” Mrs. Clinton said. She praised Mr. Tadic for agreeing to hold talks with the government in Kosovo, saying that dialogue would “have a positive impact on the relationship between Serbia, your neighbors, Europe and the United States.” But she made no mention of her words earlier in the day, in Bosnia, when she sought to use the personal history of her own political rivalry with President Obama to urge residents of that deeply divided country to stick together and put aside nationalism in favor of unity.
Why We Tell Success Stories (VIDEO) (Melinda Gates – Huffington Post)
I’ve been looking through responses to TEDxChange and want to explain why we tell success stories. It’s easy to think that nothing is changing in the poorest parts of the world, that no progress is being made. But the facts show there has been real and dramatic progress — whether it’s the declining number of child deaths globally, the advances made against AIDS, or the halving of malaria deaths in several countries — especially over the past decade. I believe that sharing stories of success is one of the most important things we can do to motivate and inspire governments, partners and individuals to support investing in effective development aid. When Bill and I travel, we have been deeply touched by personal stories of lives changed for the better. We see great things happening on the ground — lives being saved, diseases prevented, and people lifting themselves and their communities out of poverty. That’s why I’m sharing stories through events like TEDxChange, and also through the upcoming Living Proof event on October 18th. Together with our partners, we want to get these stories out and inform the conversation around global health and development investments.
Defense budget reformers strike back (Josh Rogin – Foreign Policy)
Following last week’s launch of a conservative think-tank effort to argue for increased defense spending, now a non-partisan think tank has joined the grand debate over national defense budgets, taking the opposing side of the argument. The Stimson Center, a non-profit, non-partisan research center, expanded its web presence on Tuesday. As part of its “Budgeting for Foreign Affairs and Defense” project, Stimson launched a new blog called The Will and the Wallet, which will address how to reconcile U.S. national security with the country’s horrid fiscal and budgetary situation. The Will and the Wallet is part of the Budgeting for Foreign Affairs and Defense project’s mission to offer pragmatic options for strengthening the institutions of civilian foreign policy and disciplining those of defense,” Stimson said in a press release. “This perspective comes at a critical time, as concerns about the federal debt are growing and as policymakers begin to consider U.S. national security priorities after the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.”
UN Security Council Adds Emerging Powers; Canada Causes Stir (Evelyn Leopold – Huffington Post)
India, South Africa, Germany, Portugal and Colombia were elected to the UN Security Council. But the defeat of Canada, often considered the Boy Scout of the world body, prompted some head-scratching. The elections are annual events for the 15-nation Council, the most prestigious and powerful UN entity, responsible for war, peacekeeping and sanctions. Five nations are permanent members — United States, Russia, China, Britain, France– and 10 are elected by regions, five each year. The new members replace Austria, Japan, Mexico, Turkey and Uganda whose terms expire on Dec. 31. Bosnia, Brazil, Gabon, Lebanon and Nigeria remain on the council until the end of 2011.