Mary Grabar

The events that have unfolded since the speech was printed in the Norton Reader have not gone the way the editors predicted. The declaration of “A New Beginning” did not make it so. The burning of the U.S. flag in protests around the world in recent weeks strongly suggests that opinions have slipped even more.

Romney explained why he called it an “apology tour”: “Mr. President, the reason I call it an apology tour is because you went to the Middle East and you flew to Egypt and to Saudi Arabia and to Turkey and Iraq. And by the way, you skipped Israel, our closest friend in the region, but you went to the other nations.”

Obama then responded that Romney seemed to forget his visit to Israel as a presidential candidate. Well, that is certainly significant. I wanted to jump in and give Romney a little nudge. He should have said, “Come on, what does that say, Mr. President, when you visit Israel as a candidate and not as President?” (But, Mr. Romney, you can use this now.)

Obama even refused Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s request for a meeting while both were in New York City last month. Obama did have time, though, to sit for numerous talk shows and give a speech at the UN falsely castigating a film trailer for the attack on Benghazi that killed four Americans.

One sensed that Romney’s accusations hit home and that is why Obama tapped into his inner Alinsky (as in Saul Alinsky) when he resorted to sarcasm in response to Romney's citing the reduction in military spending and specifically in the number of Navy ships.

In response to what Roll Callcalled Romney's "complaint," the Community Organizer said, "I think Gov. Romney maybe hasn't spent enough time looking at how our military works."

Obama continued, "Well, Governor we also have fewer horses and bayonets because the nature of our military's changed. We have these things called aircraft carriers, where planes land on them. We have these ships that go underwater, nuclear submarines. So the question is not a game of Battleship, where we're counting ships. It's what are our capabilities." (Talk about lowering presidential discourse!)

I believe that Romney was addressing "capabilities," indeed, and citing specifics as he was doing so.

I was disappointed by Romney’s agreeing to the 2014 deadline for withdrawing troops from Afghanistan and for not hitting harder on Benghazi. I know many fellow conservatives were too. But when you’re dealing with the wily Chicago gang, you have to be careful lest they decide to bomb Libya as a last-minute election strategy and then paint you in a corner.

One also has to be careful about references to “fact checkers,” as Obama did in relation to the “apology tour.” He said, “Every fact checker and every reporter who’s looked at it, Governor, has said this is not true.”

Perhaps Obama meant to say every liberal fact checker, for it is liberals who have anointed themselves with the Orwellian titles of “fact checkers” and “truth teams.”

Obama, in apologizing for the United States, was following the disturbing trend of apologizing for others’ perceived sins. Leaders of companies, universities, states, and nations are all too quick these days to apologize for the sins of their predecessors.

But what about one’s own actions? Will President Obama apologize for those? He has lied and shirked blame on a video. Our arrogant, golf-obsessed president could not even be bothered with in-person security briefings.

We have four Americans dead, and for the first time since the presidency of Jimmy Carter, an ambassador murdered by terrorists.

But even Jimmy Carter would not have gone to a Las Vegas fundraiser the next day, as Obama did.

Now all that’s something to apologize for.

Mary Grabar

Mary Grabar earned her Ph.D. in English from the University of Georgia and teaches in Atlanta. She is organizing the Resistance to the Re-Education of America at Her writing can be found at