The Corner

Foreign Travel, Meeting Leaders

A reader with a big-time, not a small-time, job says, 

Like Governor Palin, I haven’t traveled much out of the country — less than she has, in fact. (I’ve only been to Mexico and England.) I found that question about foreign travel a bit offensive, really. Is world travel — along with being from someplace large and cosmopolitan — now a qualification for the presidency? 

Well, let’s first get one thing straight: It’s okay to be from someplace un-large and un-cosmopolitan. In fact, politically, it’s good. It’s just that you can’t have stayed there.


As for foreign travel — it’s a canard. Take me, for example (“please,” I can hear people say, in Henny Youngman style). I’ve been to a million foreign countries and met a thousand foreign leaders, thanks to my interests and work. Would Charlie Gibson and the Democratic party want me for vice president? No.


Why? Because I have conservative — or Reaganite or classical-liberal or Buckleyan — views.


And that’s what we’re talking about here.


P.S. I don’t argue that travels and meetings can’t be enhancing — they can. (I wouldn’t trade them.) But they’re not the be-all, end-all, especially if you’re a dope. Liberals loved to knock Jesse Helms — chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee — for staying at home. But his understanding of the world was far, far better than theirs.


P.P.S. I promise that my next post — my next many posts — will be less self-referential.

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