You have only to google “52 seconds” and “Obama” and you can watch it. Candidate Obama promises not to “weaponize space.” He seems unaware that ballistic missiles capable of carrying nuclear warheads have been traveling through space since 1957—four years before this youthful and inexperienced candidate was born. He pledges “a world without nuclear weapons.” So did Reagan. But Reagan would make sure that the U.S. possessed a nuclear shield—his famous Strategic Defense Initiative—before lowering our nuclear sword.
Notice how this most fluent of speakers stumbles over the word quadrennial. It means he’s reading a script. No harm in that. Many candidates do. But it also means he had not spent enough time in the corridors of power even to recognize the word. QDR—the quadrennial defense review—is a phrase as familiar to national security experts as GDP—gross domestic product—is to budget analysts.
Obama was unprepared then. He’s still unprepared. Harry Truman was a liberal Democrat. And he was thrust suddenly into the White House. But Harry could make a decision. He put a sign on his desk: The Buck Stops Here.” Obama should read that sign.