Republicans have seized on the words "leading from behind" that an unnamed Obama adviser used in a New Yorker article, even though the idea is to empower others while avoiding the perception of unilateral U.S. action.
Rice recalled standing at her desk the morning of Sept. 11, 2001, and learning of the terrorist attacks. She made no mention of Osama bin Laden and Obama's order as commander in chief for the Navy SEALS' operation that killed the terrorist leader.
"Our friends and allies must be able to trust us," she said. "From Israel to Poland to the Philippines to Colombia and across the world — they must know that we are reliable and consistent and determined. ... Our military capability and technological advantage will be safe in Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan's hands."
National security has barely warranted a mention at the convention as jobs and the economy remain the dominant issues for the electorate. The short shrift also reflects a political reality of the past four years — Republicans have made little headway in challenging Obama's aggressive security policies.
Obama has waged a secret campaign against Al Qaeda in two countries — one on the Arab Peninsula, the other on Africa's east coast. Navy SEALs took out bin Laden in Pakistan in May 2011 and armed drones have pursued Al Qaeda terrorists within the country, degrading the group.