In a deviation from the speech's transcript as printed in the Wall Street Journal and the Denver Post, Barack added:
We cannot continue to rely on our military in order to achieve the national security objectives we’ve set. We’ve got to have a civilian national security force that’s just as powerful, just as strong, just as well-funded.
What in the world is he talking about in invoking the specter of a "civilian national security force"? One caller -- an immigrant from Communist-era Romania -- confessed that the language reminded him of the dark days of Soviet domination.
Or could it be that he's simply trying to equate an army of young government Peace Corps types with the military -- except they'll be armed with brooms and shovels instead of guns? Of course, that's worrisome, too, as it betrays a certain softness in Barack's conception of what "national security" entails.
Candidates who can be trusted with the leadership of the free world don't engage in weird little riffs that leave normal people puzzling over what they meant . . . and with no alternative that doesn't seem either disturbingly creepy or frighteningly naive. Just another sign that Barack isn't quite ready for prime time?