Sometimes what a politician says matters less than what he or she doesn’t say. Case in point: Hillary Clinton’s big presidential announcement speech this past weekend.
Clinton had a lot to say about income inequality and the need to rebalance an economy in which a privileged few accrue enormous benefits, while the many make do with meager crumbs. She had detailed policy proposals on early childhood education, infrastructure, voting rights and strengthening the social safety net. But in a more than 4,000-word speech, she spent all of 325 words on foreign policy.
While she went into full wonk mode on the domestic front, the section of her speech dealing with international affairs was completely platitudinous. In what amounts to a policy nothing-burger, she pledged to “harness all of America’s power, smarts, and values to maintain our leadership for peace, security, and prosperity.” That’s a promise that any presidential candidate could comfortably make.