The Atlantic

Buttigieg Looks to Truman, Not Obama, on Foreign Policy

The Democratic candidate is trying to reorient his party’s approach, tying international affairs back to the concerns of ordinary voters.
Source: Brian Frank / Reuters

“Basically, my entire adult life has been one where it’s a little bit illegible where you’re supposed to be as a Democrat on foreign policy,” Pete Buttigieg told me last weekend. He was preparing to give his first speech on the subject, today at Indiana University. So far, most of the Democratic candidates have avoided the question of how they’d conduct foreign policy, and the voters and the press have made that easy for them.

When candidates decide to say something about global affairs, they tend to quarantine their views in a single all-encompassing speech, as if to get the topic out of the way. Elizabeth Warren gave hers in Washington in November. Bernie Sanders has actually given two, in Missouri in 2017 and last fall at Johns Hopkins. None of the other candidates has given even one.

This silence about America’s role in the world is

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