Go to HHH home page.
Smart Politics

Live Blog: Rep. Walz Event

Bookmark and Share

10:00 am. Freshman Democratic congressman Tim Walz's (MN-01) talk today is entitled "Tomorrow's Foreign Policy: What We're Teaching Today's Students and Why It Matters."

10:10 am. Walz begins his talk by discussing the importance of opening a line of communication between citizens and the government. He explains how his first 100 days of Congress have been dominated by foreign policy legislation. Gallup polling has demonstrated America's view of U.S. foreign policy has eroded steeply in recent years. In February 2002 75 percent of Americans believed foreign leaders respected President Bush - five years later, in February 2007, the same poll found that number had dropped to just 21 percent.

10:15 am. "Nuance" is the word of the day -- Walz believes there is too much simplicity in the public discourse on foreign policy. (Walz - a former teacher - is a natural at the podium, rarely speaking from notes, with his baritone voice booming throughout the auditorium). One of the erroneous 'lessons' Americans are being taught, Walz says, is that "everything changed after 9/11." Walz says things may have changed in the United States, but not across the world - and the U.S. must realize this.

10:25 am. Walz acknowledges the U.S. is not viewed very well around the world. Gallup polling on this subject bolsters Walz's point. In February 2002 79 percent of Americans believed the U.S. was viewed favorably in the eyes of the world. By February 2004 that number had fallen to 54 percent. By February 2007 only 45 percent of Americans believed this - with 54 percent believing the U.S. was viewed unfavorably by the world.

10:30 am. Walz says people in Congress are not listening to the rational center - and are instead being driven by 'big ideas' like American exceptionalism. Walz calls the Iraq War one of the most devastating foreign policy acts in U.S. history.

10:35 am. Walz claims the U.S. public education system is presenting a myopic view of American history - with just a fraction of their education devoted to world history. Walz says - although he believes in some educational standards - there must be much greater freedom, creativity, and nuance taught in the educational curriculum.

10:45 am. Walz wonders worries about what the next generation of foreign diplomats will look like as the current group retires and passes on. Walz worries about how this generation is being educated and this will impact future foreign policy decisions. Walz ended his speech after 40 minutes - riveting, and well-received by the audience.

10:48 am. DFL Senate candidate Al Franken is in attendance at Walz's speech - sitting just behind the live bloggers in the electronic media row. Walz now begins to answer questions from Larry Jacobs, Director of the Center for the Study of Politics and Governance, and members of the audience.

10:50 am. With regards to building a coalition in the House among his Democratic colleagues, Walz quoted a fellow party member from Hawaii who said, "If we were in Europe, we'd have 15 different political parties." Walz says that several members on the left-wing of the Democratic party did not think the Iraq Supplemental bill did not go far enough, while Blue Dog democrats did not think it provided enough flexibility.

10:53 am. Walz believes the U.S. combat troops should leave Iraq, and the sooner the better. Walz does concede some U.S. forces should remain - such as special operation forces, who will be needed to help keep in check the estimated 6 percent of insurgents who hail from foreign countries (who Walz believes will continue to wreck havoc in the region even if the U.S. troops leave the country).

10:56 am. Walz rejects the military leadership's view that combat troops will need to remain in Iraq for 5 to 10 years. He says Congress sets the policy, not the military -- U.S. policy is not determined by a military dictatorship.

11:00 am. Walz feels a sense of responsibility to the Iraqi innocents to help prevent a bloodbath if the U.S. leaves. The Congressman cites Colin Powell who stated, "If you broke it, you own it." But Walz says this is something the world community can help assist the U.S. in doing.

11:05 am. Walz says the U.S. cannot afford the Iraq war financially as well - especially with regards to the budget President Bush has proposed for 2008. The Congressman implies the U.S. needs to better balance security with the American tradition of openness to the world - and not turn inwards to build walls, missile shields etc.

11:08 am. Walz criticizes President Bush for cutting spending on the care of veterans. He also rips Bush for nominating a former GOP Party chair (Jim Nicholson) as the Secretary for Veterans Affairs.

11:10 am. The Walz event comes to a close...

Previous post: Smart Politics Live Blogging At Walz Event
Next post: Live Blog at GOP Events Announced


  • "Walz believes there is too much simplicity in the public discourse on foreign policy."

    Well, that extends well beyond foreign policy. It's a fine balance of explaining the complexities of the subject without taking it to a level that the general populice will struggle with.

  • Whenever you see a relatively minor war or international conflict, which is what Iraq really is (compare it to WWI, WWII, Korea, Vietnam, etc) you have to suspect about how much influence it really has on a country's reputation.

    I'd have to say that Iraq was an excuse for a lot of nations to vent a lot of other things that they were already angry about.

    China has been angry at the US' dominance over Asia, especially with our relationship with Taiwan and our criticism over China's human rights policies and policies in Tibet.

    We have been activetly working to contain Russia, well after 1991. Also there is the ballistic missile defense shield with upsets them.

    France has always been anti-American and hates "Anlgo" culture and economic reforms which they fear they have to accept.

    The Muslim world is angry at us for our support over Israel.

    I think that perhaps the 2003 invasion of Iraq was the last needle on the camel's back for some.


  • I think its really important that government officials listen to people's ideas, feelings, and outcries. They must have good communication skills to work with the people. Knowing what the people think and how they feel, they will know what's best to do for the country and for the people.

    Having good communication with the people can help them work hand in hand with the people and for people to cooperate as well. It helps build a good relationship with them.

  • Leave a comment

    Remains of the Data

    Gender Equality in the US House: A State-by State Quarter-Century Report Card (1989-2014)

    A study of 5,325 congressional elections finds the number of female U.S. Representatives has more than tripled over the last 25 years, but the rate at which women are elected to the chamber still varies greatly between the states.

    Political Crumbs

    Final Four Has Presidential Approval

    By edging Michigan in the final seconds Sunday, the University of Kentucky guaranteed that one school in the Final Four this year would be located in a state that was not carried by President Barack Obama in 2012. (Connecticut, Florida, and Wisconsin had previously earned Final Four slots over the weekend). Across the 76 Final Fours since 1939, an average of 3.1 schools have been located in states won by the president's ticket during the previous election cycle. All four schools have come from states won by the president 29 times, with the most recent being the 2009 Final Four featuring Connecticut, Michigan State, North Carolina, and Villanova. On 30 occasions three Final Four schools have been located in states won by the president, with two schools 11 times and only one school six times (the most recent being 2012 with Kansas, Kentucky, Louisville, and Ohio State). There has never been a Men's NCAA Division I Final Four in which no schools were located in states carried by the president's ticket.

    Three for the Road

    A new Rasmussen Poll shows Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker in a dead heat with likely 2014 Democratic nominee Mary Burke. Walker is seeking to win his third consecutive election after prevailing in 2012's recall contest. Eight of his predecessors accomplished this feat: Republicans Lucius Fairchild (in 1869), Jeremiah Rusk (1886), Robert La Follette (1904), Emanuel Philipp (1918), John Blaine (1924), Walter Kohler (1954), Warren Knowles (1968), and Tommy Thompson (1994). Three others Badger State governors lost on their third campaign: Democrat George Peck (1894), Progressive Philip La Follette (1938), and Republican Julius Heil (1942). One died in office before having the opportunity to win a third contest (GOPer Walter Goodland in 1947) while another resigned beforehand (Democrat Patrick Lucey in 1977 to become Ambassador to Mexico). Overall Wisconsin gubernatorial incumbents have won 35 of 47 general election contests, or 74.5 percent of the time.


    Humphrey School Sites
    Humphrey New Media Hub

    Issues />

<div id=
    Budget and taxes
    Campaign finances
    Crime and punishment
    Economy and jobs
    Foreign affairs
    Race and ethnicity
    Third parties