DELEGATE FORUM -- DAY 3
August 28, 1996
The delegates responded to these other questions:
Compare the substance and style of Hillary Clinton and Elizabeth Dole?
What would happen if the Democrats won both the Congress and the Presidency?
Has the poverty of the area around the convention hall shown through Chicago's recent cosmetic surgery?
Is Evan Bayh the next Bill Clinton?
A question from Ellin Regis of Jamaica, New York:
Will the President focus on any foreign policy accomplishments in his speech? And what changes will the President work toward in the foreign arena if he is reelected?
The delegates respond:
Sally Beitia, American Falls, IN
I think President Clinton will concentrate on his domestic accomplishments in his speech; in my view, domestic problems are much more complicated to tackle and President Clinton has successfully addressed many of them.
Jason Bolt, Baton Rouge, LA
I believe the President will focus on his foreign policy accomplishments in Bosnia as well his recent plans to counter terrorism in the world. Foreign policy is an issue that I am sure the President will discuss Thursday night, including new initiatives for the next four years. Terrorism will be addressed, as well as plans for maintaining peace throughout the world and reducing the risk of a nuclear war or accident. I believe the President will touch on the idea that even though the Cold War is over, there are still many risks in the world which must be addressed in America's foreign policy agenda. However, President Clinton's main focus on Thursday night will be on America's domestic agenda--especially crime, education, continued welfare reform, and most importantly, the economy.
Jennifer L. Brunner, Columbus, OH
Yes, I'm sure he'll focus on foreign policy, although I do not have access to a draft of his acceptance speech. One area likely to be discussed is troops in Bosnia. That has been touched on before in other speeches at the convention. It has been acknowledged that the decision was not a popular one, but one that the President thought was necessary in order to stop the senseless killings and brutality.
As for your question about changes the President will work toward in the foreign arena if he is reelected, I am uncertain about that, except to say that he will continue to address the Bosnian issue and will endeavor to work with China on a human rights agenda. I believe that this President is careful to balance domestic interests when developing a foreign policy agenda, which I and many others believe he well should.
Clifford Hudson, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
It is difficult for me to imagine that he would not deal with foreign policy in his speech, but it's also difficult to imagine that he would dwell on it. He has delivered several foreign policy successes in his first term and not to draw attention to those successes would be a mistake. It is also important that he reassure the American people of his ability to handle this aspect of the presidency.
At the same time, I am assuming he will want to focus mostly on certain domestic issues, particularly the performance of the economy during his first term. In addition, I would expect him to provide a vision of where he believes he can lead the country into the next century. This would seem to be a critical issue for any presidential candidate and certainly for an incumbent president.
Sue Rochne, Zumbrota, MN
I certainly hope so! When he was running in '92 and in his early days in office, the doom and gloom guys such as Dole/Gingrich harped incessantly about Clinton's lack of foreign policy experience. Well look at what has happened - Bosnia is going to have free elections…Haiti has had free elections…and the Middle East has not broken into a series of civil wars as previously predicted. Clinton has cut the deficit and some defense spending without harming our military capabilities, despite what Colin Powell says.
One further note should be made of Hillary's contribution in the area of foreign affairs. From Beijing to Eastern Europe she has been received with great affection and, unlike in the States, she is admired for her ability and contributions to the Clinton Administration.