Guest Columnist

Klobuchar would lead credible U.S. foreign policy

Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., speaks Tuesday, Jan. 14, 2020, during a Democratic presid
Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., speaks Tuesday, Jan. 14, 2020, during a Democratic presidential primary debate hosted by CNN and the Des Moines Register in Des Moines, Iowa. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

Almost no one pays attention to foreign policy except when there is a flash point, as we just experienced with Iran. I’m a former Foreign Service Officer who has seen ambassadors, secretaries of state and presidents come and go. I want someone who:

• Is credible and steady — builds relationships, recognizes we need and benefit from partners.

• Values others’ views — the diplomatic, intelligence and military professionals; will listen with an open mind, asks informed questions and decides based on what is in the best interest of our national security and the world.

• Respects the Constitution — keeps Congress and the American people informed, focuses on consistency and cohesiveness in trade policy, and depoliticizes foreign policy so we speak with one voice abroad.

• Encourages, rewards and respects a robust interagency process — recognizes that the better the process, the better- informed and well-calibrated our policy will be. This requires revitalized and fully staffed federal agencies, including especially the U.S. State Department, our eyes and ears on the ground.

• Is not entitled — has never had others doing for her regularly and understands the value of having others contribute.

• Understands that today’s world is one large, interconnected ecosystem. Security alliances, economic alliances, and alliances formed to combat climate change — all are crucial.

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Funny how our reflex has been that men are better placed to lead. I ask that you consider: Who is the peacemaker at home? Who negotiates, mediates, listens, persuades and lays down the law when needed? Who manages on a tight budget, organizes and ensures that a household succeeds? Who puts the family’s interests over her own?

I want intelligent, credible experience in the White House, including in foreign affairs. I want someone who has articulated a framework, with an impressive track record of getting things done.

In her speech to the Council on Foreign Relations, Sen. Amy Klobuchar outlined her five R’s: Restoring American leadership, including rebuilding and restoring our diplomatic corps; repairing our alliances; rejoining international agreements; responding appropriately to threats and challenges; and reasserting American values.

I want someone who has walked the walk, as Sen. Klobuchar did when she traveled with Sen. McCain in December 2016 and visited Ukrainian military on New Year’s Eve 2016, together with Ambassador Yovanovitch, to stand up to Russian aggression. I spent a career as a foreign affairs professional, I’ve done my homework, and I’m caucusing for Amy Klobuchar. I hope you, too, will consider her seriously.

Janice Weiner lives in Iowa City.

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