Thank you. Thank you very, verymuch. Thank you. Good morning. Thank you for an extraordinarily warm welcome,Charlottesville. I am really honored to be here.

Senator Tim Kaine, thank youvery, very much for your generous words of introduction. Tim, as he mentioned,has only been on the Foreign Relations Committee, I guess now for a total of afew weeks, but I can, based on his testimony a moment ago, positively commendhim on his voting record. (Laughter and applause.) He’s really – he’s foundhimself new job security too, because here in Virginia you have a single-termgovernor for four years, so he has traded one single four-year term for asix-year term with potential extension. (Laughter.) So given the fact that Itraded the several extensions for a four-year term and then I’m finished, maybehe knows something and I ought to be listening to him. (Laughter.) I could learna thing or two from him.

We didn’t overlap for long, but Iwant to tell everybody here that we know each other pretty well from service asa Lieutenant Governor and when he was Governor of the state. I was LieutenantGovernor of my state, so we have that in common before being senators.

I’ll tell you a quick story. AndI don’t know what you do in Virginia as Lieutenant Governor, but inMassachusetts, once upon a time Calvin Coolidge was Lieutenant Governor. And hewas at a dinner party, and his dinner partner turned to him and said, “What doyou do?” And he said, “Well, I’m Calvin Coolidge. I’m Lieutenant Governor ofMassachusetts.” And she said, “Oh wow, that must be really interesting. Tell meall about the job.” And he said, “I just did.” (Laughter.) So I trust, becausethey embraced you and me, we made something more out of it.

But I have huge admiration forthe path that Tim Kaine has followed. I know his sense of what America means tothe world was forged in the early days that Congressman Hurt referred to abouthis missionary work, the Catholic missionary working in Honduras, just helpingother people to live healthier lives. And I know, because two weeks after theelection, Tim called me and he asked if he could serve on the Foreign RelationsCommittee. Well, in the Senate, I will tell you, you don’t always get thosecalls. People who step forward and volunteer in that way on a committee thatdoesn’t have the opportunity to bring bacon back home and perhaps deliver it aseasy a reelection. So I know that in Tim Kaine, Virginia has a senator who’sgoing to make his mark on that committee, and he’s going to make the mark foryour commonwealth and our country, and we’re grateful for your service, Tim.Thank you very, very much. (Applause.)

I also am particularly gratefulfor Congressman Robert Hurt being here today. I have left partisan politics andit’s wonderful for me to be able to welcome people in the complete spirit ofnonpartisanship, not just bipartisan, but nonpartisanship. And I’m particularlygrateful to him for his service in the state legislature, in both houses, nowin the House, and I’m confident from the words you expressed and theconversation we had, you’re going to make your contribution too. And I thankyou for your presence here today. (Applause.)

President Sullivan, thank you somuch for welcoming me here to this historic, remarkable campus. I just feastedon the view as I walked across the lawn with President Sullivan, and I have tosay you all are very lucky to go to school here. (Laughter.) It is an honor tojoin you here on Grounds – (laughter and applause) – this very, very beautifulmonument to the potential of the human mind. And I have to tell you, to standhere beneath the gaze of the sages of Athens, those thinkers who gave us theidea of democracy, which we obviously still continue to perfect, not only inour own nation but around the world, we are grateful for that.

I will tell you also, I was herea long time ago as an undergraduate. I played lacrosse down on that field overthere against you guys, and my first act of diplomacy is literally to forgetwho won. I have no idea. I don’t know. (Laughter.)

I want to thank the folks inuniform. I want to thank the ROTC and all those of you who have served and willcontinue to serve in some way for our nation. There is no greater declarationof citizenship than that, and I happen to believe the word “citizen” is one ofthe most important in the American lexicon.

Some might ask why I’m standinghere at the University of Virginia, why am I starting here? A Secretary ofState making his first speech in the United States? You might ask, “Doesn’tdiplomacy happen over there, overseas, far beyond the boundaries of our ownbackyards?”

So why is it that I am at thefoot of the Blue Ridge instead of on the shores of the Black Sea? Why am I inOld Cabell Hall and not Kabul, Afghanistan? (Laughter.)

The reason is very simple. I camehere purposefully to underscore that in today’s global world, there is nolonger anything foreign about foreign policy. More than ever before, thedecisions that we make from the safety of our shores don’t just ripple outward;they also create a current right here in America. How we conduct our foreignpolicy matters more than ever before to our everyday lives, to theopportunities of all those students I met standing outside, whatever year theyare here, thinking about the future. It’s important not just in terms of thethreats that we face, but the products that we buy, the goods that we sell, andthe opportunity that we provide for economic growth and vitality. It’s not justabout whether we’ll be compelled to send our troops to another battle, butwhether we’ll be able to send our graduates into a thriving workforce. That’swhy I’m here today.

I’m here because our lives asAmericans are more intertwined than ever before with the lives of people inparts of the world that we may have never visited. In the global challenges ofdiplomacy, development, economic security, environmental security, you willfeel our success or failure just as strongly as those people in those othercountries that you’ll never meet. For all that we have gained in the 21stcentury, we have lost the luxury of just looking inward. Instead, we look outand we see a new field of competitors. I think it gives us much reason to hope.But it also gives us many more rivals determined to create jobs andopportunities for their own people, a voracious marketplace that sometimesforgets morality and values.

I know that some of you and manyacross the country wish that globalization would just go away, or you wistfullyremember easier times. But, my friends, no politician, no matter how powerful,can put this genie back in the bottle. So our challenge is to tame the worstimpulses of globalization even as we harness its ability to spread informationand possibility, to offer even the most remote place on Earth the same choicesthat have made us strong and free.

So before I leave this weekend tolisten to our allies and partners next week throughout Europe and the MiddleEast, and in the coming months across Asia, Africa, and the Americas, I wantedto first talk with you about the challenge that we face here at home, becauseour engagement with the rest of the world begins by making some important choicestogether, and particularly about our nation’s budget. Our sense of sharedresponsibility, that we care about something bigger than ourselves, isabsolutely central to the spirit of this school. It’s also central to thespirit of our nation.

As you well know, and Dr.Sullivan reminded you a moment ago, our first Secretary of State founded thisgreat university. Students of his day, when he did, could basically only studylaw or medicine or religion. That was about it. But Thomas Jefferson had avision, and he believed that the American people needed a public place to learna diversity of disciplines – studies of science and space, of flora, fauna, andphilosophy. He built this university in the image of what he called “theillimitable freedom of the human mind.”

Today, those of you who studyhere and who teach here, along with the taxpayers, contributors, and parentswho believe in your potential, you are all investing in Mr. Jefferson’s vision.Now think for a moment about what that means. Why do you spend the many daysand the borrowed dollars it takes to earn an education here, or anywhere? Whydid Jefferson want this institution to remain public and accessible, not justto Virginians but as a destination from everywhere? I know that he wasn’t thinkingjust about your getting a degree and a job. It was about something more.Jefferson believed we couldn’t be a strong country without investing in thekind of education that empowers us to be good citizens. That’s why foundingthis university is among the few accomplishments that Jefferson listed on hisepitaph that he wrote for himself. To him, this place and its goal was a biggerpart of his legacy than serving as Secretary of State or even as President,neither of which made the cut.

Just as Jefferson understood thatwe need to invest in education in order to produce good citizens, I joinPresident Obama today in asserting with urgency that our citizenry deserves astrong foreign policy to protect our interests in the world. A wise investmentin foreign policy can yield for a nation the same return that education doesfor a student. And no investment that we make that is as small as thisinvestment puts forward such a sizeable benefit for ourselves and for ourfellow citizens of the world. That’s why I wanted to have this conversationwith you today, which I hope is a conversation that extends well beyond theborders of Charlottesville, well beyond this university, to all Americans.

When I talk about a smallinvestment in foreign policy in the United States, I mean it. Not so long ago,someone polled the American people and asked, “How big is our internationalaffairs budget?” Most pegged it at 25 percent of our national budget, and theythought it ought to be pared way back to ten percent of our national budget.Let me tell you, would that that were true. I’d take ten percent in aheartbeat, folks – (laughter) – because ten percent is exactly ten timesgreater than what we do invest in our efforts to protect America around theworld.

In fact, our whole foreign policybudget is just over one percent of our national budget. Think about it a littlebit. Over one percent, a little bit more, funds all of our civilian and foreignaffairs efforts – every embassy, every program that saves a child from dirtydrinking water, or from AIDS, or reaches out to build a village, and bringAmerica’s values, every person. We’re not talking about pennies on the dollar;we’re talking about one penny plus a bit, on a single dollar.

So where you think this ideacomes from, that we spend 25 percent of our budget? Well, I’ll tell you. It’spretty simple. As a recovering politician – (laughter) – I can tell you thatnothing gets a crowd clapping faster in a lot of places than saying, “I’m goingto Washington to get them to stop spending all that money over there.” Andsometimes they get a lot more specific.

If you’re looking for an applauseline, that’s about as guaranteed an applause line as you can get. But guesswhat? It does nothing to guarantee our security. It doesn’t guarantee astronger country. It doesn’t guarantee a sounder economy or a more stable jobmarket. It doesn’t guarantee that the best interests of our nation are beingserved. It doesn’t guarantee that another young American man or woman won’t goand lose their life because we weren’t willing to make the right investmentshere in the first place.

We need to say no to the politicsof the lowest common denominator and of simplistic slogans, and start makingreal choices that protect the interests of our country. That’s imperative.(Applause.)

Unfrtunately, the StateDepartment doesn’t have our own Grover Norquist pushing a pledge to protect it.We don’t have millions of AARP seniors who send in their dues and rally toprotect America’s investments overseas. The kids whose lives we’re helping savefrom AIDS, the women we’re helping to free from the horrors of sex trafficking,the students who, for the first time, can choose to walk into a school insteadof into a short life of terrorism – their strongest lobbyists are the rare,committed Americans who stand up for them and for the resources that we need tohelp them. And I hope that includes all of you here and many listening.

You understand why. Every timethat a tough fiscal choice looms, the easiest place to point fingers – foreignaid. As Ronald Reagan said, foreign aid suffers from a lack of domesticconstituency, and that’s part of the reason that everyone thinks it costs a lotmore than it really does. So we need to change that. I reject the excuse thatAmericans just aren’t interested in what’s happening outside of their immediatefield of vision. I don’t believe that about any one of you sitting here, and Idon’t believe that about Americans.

In fact, the real domesticconstituency for what we do, if people can see the dots connected andunderstand what we’re doing in its full measure, is really large. It’s the 314million Americans whose lives are better every day because of what we do, andwho, deep down, when they have time to stop and think about it, know that ourinvestment abroad actually makes them and our nation safer.

Now, my friends, in this age,when a shrinking world clashes with calls for shrinking budgets – and we’re notalone – it’s our job to connect those dots, to connect them for the Americanpeople between what we do over there and the size of the difference that itmakes over here at home, why the price of abandoning our global efforts wouldbe exorbitant, and why the vacuum we would leave by retreating within ourselveswill quickly be filled by those whose interests differ dramatically from ours.

We learned that lesson in thedeserts of Mali recently, in the mountains of Afghanistan in 2001, and in thetribal areas of Pakistan even today. Just think: Today’s first-years here atUVA were starting the second grade when a small cabal of terrorists halfwayaround the world shattered our sense of security and our stability, ourskylines. So I know that you certainly have always understood that bad thingshappening over there threaten us right here.

Knowing that, the question isthis: How do we, together, make clear that the opposite is just as true; thatif we do the right things, the good things, the smart things over there, itwill strengthen us here at home?

Let me tell you my answer: Ibelieve we do this in two ways. First, it’s about telling the story of how westand up for American jobs and businesses – pretty practical, prettystraightforward, and pretty real on a day-to-day basis. And second, it’s abouthow we stand up for our American values, something that has alwaysdistinguished America.

I agree with President Obama thatthere is nothing in this current budget fight that requires us to make baddecisions, that forces us to retrench or to retreat. This is a time to continueto engage for the sake of the safety and the economic health of our country.This is not optional. It is a necessity. The American people understand this, Ibelieve. Our businesses understand this. It’s simple. The more they sellabroad, the more they’re going to hire here at home. And since 95 percent ofthe world’s customers live outside of our country, we can’t hamstring our ownability to compete in those increasingly growing markets.

Virginia understands this as wellas any state in the union. Senator Kaine, I know, when a governor, took thosetrips to try to make this happen. International trade supports more than amillion jobs right here in Virginia – more than one in five jobs in Virginia,which actually today is the story of America.

You have a company up near Dullescalled Orbital Sciences Corporation. With the help of the persistent advocatesof our Embassy in Bangkok, it beat out French and Russian competitors to buildThailand’s newest broadcast satellite. Virginia’s Orbital is now teaming upwith a California company called Space Exploration Technologies that makessatellite equipment. The deal that our Embassy helped secure, valued at $160million, goes right back into American communities from coast to coast. That’sthe difference that our embassies abroad actually can make back here at home.

And these success stories happenin partnership with countries all over the world because of the resources thatwe’ve deployed to bring business and jobs back to America. These investments,my friends, are paying for themselves. We create more than 5,000 jobs for everybillion dollars of goods and services that we export. So the last thing that weshould do is surrender this kind of leverage.

These successes are happening inCanada, where State Department officers there got a local automotive firm toinvest tens of millions of dollars in Michigan, where the American autoindustry is now making a remarkable comeback.

In Indonesia where, thanks toEmbassy Jakarta, that nation’s largest privately run airline just placed anorder for commercial aircraft, the largest order Boeing has ever been asked tofill. Meanwhile, the Indonesian state railroad is buying its locomotives fromGeneral Electric.

In South Africa, where more than600 U.S. companies are doing business, and where OPIC, the Overseas PrivateInvestment Corporation, and the Export-Import Bank, and the Trade andDevelopment Agency just opened an office to help close more investment dealsbetween American companies and Africa’s booming energy and transportationsectors, it’s also a two-way street. A major South African energy company isplanning to build a multibillion-dollar plant in Louisiana that will put moreAmericans to work.

Let me tell you, this ishappening, in Cameroon and Bosnia and other surprising places. In the shadowsof World War II, if you told someone that Japan and Germany would today be ourfourth- and fifth-largest trading partners, someone would have thought you werecrazy. Before Nixon’s bold opening with China, no one could have imagined thattoday it would be our second-largest trading partner, but that’s exactly what’shappened.

Eleven of our top 15 tradingpartners used to be the beneficiaries of U.S. foreign assistance. That’sbecause our goal isn’t to keep a nation dependent on us forever. It’s preciselyto create these markets, to open these opportunities, to establish rule of law.Our goal is to use assistance and development to help nations realize their ownpotential, develop their own ability to govern and become our economic partners.

One of America’s most incrediblerealities continues to be that we are a country without any permanent enemies.Now, take Vietnam. I will never forget standing next to John McCain in the EastRoom of the White House, each of us on either side of President Clinton as heannounced the once unthinkable normalization of our relations with Vietnam, aneffort that John McCain and I worked on for about ten years, try to bringabout.

In the last decade, thanks inlarge part to the work of USAID, our exports to Vietnam increased by more than700 percent. Every one of those percentage points are jobs here in America. Andin the last two decades, a thousand Vietnamese students and scholars havestudied and taught in America through the Fulbright program, including theForeign Minister of Vietnam, who I just talked to the other day and who,believe me, has feelings about America because of that engagement.

The list goes on. As the emergingmiddle class in India, the world’s largest democracy, buys our products, thatmeans jobs and income for our own middle class. As our traditional assistanceto Brazil decreases, trade there is increasing. Brazil is one of the new tigersgrowing at a double-digit pace, and it supports additional jobs here at home,many in the U.S. travel and tourism industry.

When Jefferson expanded ourconsular posts precisely to promote trade, he never could have imagined theimportance today. Nor could he have predicted the number of Americans abroadthat we help with their passports, with visas, with other problems that arise.Or that we help offer, to those who want to grow their families throughadoption, or who find themselves in legal trouble or distress far from home. Orthe role our diplomats play, screening potential security threats and takingthem off the radar screen before they ever reach your consciousness,potentially in the worst ways. Or that we create a new American job for every65 visitors that we help to bring to our shores.

So, my friends, we have to keepgoing. We can’t afford the kind of delay and disruption that stands on thehorizon in Washington. The exciting new trade negotiation that President Obamaannounced last week between the United States and the European Union willcreate the world’s biggest bilateral deal when it comes to fruition, atransatlantic partnership that will match the scope and ambition of ourTrans-Pacific Partnership talks.

But our work is far from over.Seven of the ten fastest growing countries are on the African continent. AndChina, understanding that, is already investing more than we do there. Four ofthe five biggest oil and natural gas discoveries happened off the coast ofMozambique last year alone. Developing economies are the epicenters of growth,and they are open for business, and the United States needs to be at thattable.

If we want a new list ofassistance graduates, countries that used to take our aid but now buy ourexports, we can’t afford to pull back. And if we’re going to seize this budgetcrisis as the great opportunity that it can be, we can’t shy away from tellingthis story to the American people, to your members of Congress, and to theworld.

But let me emphasize: Jobs andtrade are not the whole story, and nor should they be. The good work of theState Department, of USAID, is measured not only in the value of the dollar,but it’s also measured in our deepest values. We value security and stabilityin other parts of the world, knowing that failed states are among our greatestsecurity threats, and new partners are our greatest assets.

The investments that we makesupport our efforts to counter terrorism and violent extremism wherever itflourishes. And we will continue to help countries provide their own security,use diplomacy where possible, and support those allies who take the fight toterrorists.

And remember – boy, I can’temphasize this enough; I’m looking at a soldier here in front of me with aribbon on his chest – deploying diplomats today is much cheaper than deployingtroops tomorrow. We need to remember that. (Applause.) As Senator LindseyGraham said, “It’s national security insurance that we’re buying.”

Now,it sounds expensive, myfriends, but simple bottom line, it’s not. The State Department’s conflictstabilization budget is about $60 million a year now. That’s how much the movie“The Avengers” took in on a single Sunday last May. (Laughter.) The differenceis the folks that we have on the ground doing this job are actually realsuperheroes.

We value human rights, and weneed to tell the story of America’s good work there, too. We know that the mosteffective way to promote the universal rights of all people, rights andreligious freedom, is not from the podium, not from either end of PennsylvaniaAvenue. It’s from the front lines – wherever freedom and basic human dignityare denied. And that’s what Tim Kaine understood when he went to Honduras.

The brave employees of State andUSAID – and the Diplomatic Security personnel who protect the civilians servingus overseas – work in some of the most dangerous places on Earth, and they doit fully cognizant that we share stronger partnerships with countries thatshare our commitment to democratic values and human rights. They fightcorruption in Nigeria. They support the rule of law in Burma. They support democraticinstitutions in Kyrgyzstan and Georgia, mindful from our own experience that ittakes a long time to get democracy right, and that it rarely happens rightaway.

In the end, all of those efforts,all of that danger and risk that they take, makes us more secure. And we dovalue democracy, just as you’ve demonstrated here at UVA through thePresidential Precinct program that’s training leaders in emerging democracies.

Thanks to a decade of intensivediplomatic efforts alongside our partners, a conflict that took more than 2million lives – and people think about the Holocaust, 6 million over the courseof World War II, we lost 2 million people in the longest war in Africa in ourtime in the last years. And of that South Sudan was born a free nation. Securingits future and peace for all of its citizens is going to take continueddiplomatic efforts alongside partners like the African Union. And the more wecan develop the capacity of the African Union, the less the United States willhave to worry.

I’ve stood in South Sudan. I’veseen those challenges firsthand, and they still face the world’s newest countryand its government. Those challenges threaten to reverse hard-won progress andstability. And that’s why we’re working closely with that nation to help itprovide its own citizens with essential services like water, health, andeducation and agriculture practices.

We value health and nutrition,and the principle of helping people gain strength to help themselves. Throughcornerstone initiatives like Feed the Future, we help countries not only plantand harvest better food, but we also help them break the cycle of poverty, ofpoor nutrition, and of hunger.

We seek to reduce maternalmortality, eradicate polio, and protect people from malaria, tuberculosis, andpandemic influenza. And I will tell you proudly that through the Global HealthInitiative and programs that I was proud to have a hand in helping to create,like PEPFAR, we have saved the lives of 5 million people in Africa through theefforts of Americans. Today… (Applause.) And today – today astonishingly – weare standing on the edge of the potential of an AIDS-free generation, becausewe know these diseases don’t discriminate by nationality, and we believe thatrelieving preventable suffering doesn’t need a justification. And I thinkthat’s part of our values.

We value gender equality, knowingthat countries are, in fact, more peaceful and prosperous when women and girlsare afforded full rights and equal opportunity. (Applause.) In the last decade,the proportion of African* women enrolled in higher education went from nearlyzero to 20 percent. In 2002, there were fewer than a million boys in Afghanschools and barely any girls. Now, with America’s help, more than a third ofthe almost 8 million students going to school in Afghanistan are girls. Andmore than a quarter of their representatives in parliament are women. We shouldbe proud of that, and that helps to make a difference for the long haul.

We value education, promotingprograms like the Fulbright exchanges managed by the Department of State. Theyenable the most talented citizens to share their devotion to diplomacy andpeace, their hopes, their friendships, and the belief that all of the Earth’ssons and daughters ought to have the opportunity to lift themselves up. Todaythese exchanges bring hundreds of thousands of students to America from othercountries, and vice versa. In the last year alone, more than 10,000 citizens offoreign countries participated in the State Department’s academic, youth,professional and cultural exchange programs right here in Virginia. Virginiansalso studied abroad through State Department programs. Senator Fulbright, atwhose hearings I had the privilege of testifying as a young veteran returning fromVietnam, he knew that the value of sharing our proudest values bore fruit inthe long run, in the future. He said, “Having people who understand yourthought,” he said, “is much greater security than another submarine.”

Let me be very clear. Foreign assistanceis not a giveaway. It’s not charity. It is an investment in a strong Americaand in a free world. Foreign assistance lifts other people up and thenreinforces their willingness to link arms with us in common endeavors. And whenwe help others crack down on corruption, that makes it easier for our owncompliance against corruption, and it makes it easier for our companies to dobusiness as well.

When we join with other nationsto reduce the nuclear threat, we build partnerships that mean we don’t have tofight those battles alone. This includes working with our partners around theworld in making sure that Iran never obtains a weapon that would endanger ourallies and our interests. When we help others create the space that they needto build stability in their own communities, we’re actually helping bravepeople build a better, more democratic future, and making sure that we don’tpay more later in American blood and treasure.

The stories that we need to tell,of standing up for American jobs and businesses and standing up for ourAmerican values, intersect powerfully in the opportunity that we have now inthis moment of urgency to lead on the climate concerns that we share with ourglobal neighbors. We as a nation must have the foresight and the courage tomake the investments necessary to safeguard the most sacred trust we keep forour children and our grandchildren, and that is an environment not ravaged byrising seas, deadly superstorms, devastating droughts, and the other hallmarksof a dramatically changing climate. President Obama is committed to movingforward on that, and so am I, and so must you be ready to join us in thateffort. (Applause.)

Can we all say thank you to oursigners who are here? (Applause.)

So think about all these things thatI’ve listed. Think about the world as you see it today. Let’s face it: We areall in this one together. No nation can stand alone. We share nothing socompletely as our planet. When we work with others, large and small, to developand deploy the clean technologies that will power a new world – and they’rethere waiting for us, $6 trillion market, huge amount of jobs – when we dothat, we know we’re helping create the new markets and new opportunities forAmerica’s second-to-none innovators and entrepreneurs so that we can succeed inthe next great revolution in our marketplace. We need to commit ourselves todoing the smart thing and the right thing and to truly take on this challenge,because if we don’t rise to meet it, then rising temperatures and rising sealevels will surely lead to rising costs down the road. Ask any insurancecompany in America. If we waste this opportunity, it may be the only thing ourgeneration – generations – are remembered for. We need to find the courage toleave a far different legacy.

We cannot talk about theunprecedented changes happening on our planet, moreover, without also talkingabout the unprecedented changes in its population, another great opportunity atour fingertips. In countries across North Africa and the Middle East, themajority of people are younger than 30 years old – 60 percent under 30, 50percent under 21, 40 percent under 18, about half of the total under 20. Andyou know what? They seek the same opportunities and the same things that youdo: opportunity. We have an interest in helping these young people to developthe skills that they need to defeat the mass unemployment that is overwhelmingtheir societies so that they can in fact start contributing to theircommunities and rebuild their broken economies rather than engaging in someother terrorist or other kind of extremist activity. For the first time inhuman history, young people around the world act as a global cohort, includingmany of the people in this room. They’re more open-minded. They’re moreproficient with the technology that keeps them connected in a way that nogeneration in history has ever been before. We need to help all of them, andus, to use this remarkable network in a positive way.

Now, some may say not now, notwhile we have our budget; it’s too expensive. Well, believe me, my friends,these challenges will not get easier with time. There is no pause button on thefuture. We cannot choose when we would like to stop and restart our globalresponsibility or simply wait until the calendar says it’s more convenient.It’s not easy, but responding is the American thing to do. And I’ll tell you,it’s worth it.

Our relatively small investmentin these programs – programs which advance peace, security, and stabilityaround the world, which help American companies compete abroad, which createjobs here at home by opening new markets to American goods, which supportAmerican citizens abroad, help them when they need it the most, which fosterstable societies and save lives by fighting disease and hunger, which defendthe universal rights of all people and advance freedom and dignity anddevelopment around the world, which bring people together and nations together,and forge partnerships to address problems that transcend the separation of oceansand borders on land, which protect our planet for our children and theirchildren, and which give hope to a new generation of interconnected worldcitizens – our investment in all of those things cost us, as I just mentioned,about one penny of every dollar we invest. America, you will not find a betterdeal anywhere.

Now, I’m particularly aware thatin many ways, the greatest challenge to America’s foreign policy today is inthe hands not of diplomats, but of policymakers in Congress. It is often saidthat we cannot be strong at home if we’re not strong in the world, but in thesedays of a looming budget sequester that everyone actually wants to avoid – ormost – we can’t be strong in the world unless we are strong at home. Mycredibility as a diplomat working to help other countries create order isstrongest when America, at last, puts its own fiscal house in order, and thathas to be now. (Applause.)

Think about it. It’s hard to tellthe leadership of any number of countries that they have to resolve theireconomic issues if we don’t resolve our own. Let’s reach a responsibleagreement that prevents these senseless cuts. Let’s not lose this opportunitybecause of politics.

As I’ve said many times before,America is not exceptional simply because we say we are. We are exceptionalbecause we do exceptional things, both where there are problems as well aswhere there is promise, both where there is danger as well as where there isdemocracy. I am optimistic that we will continue to do these exceptionalthings. I know we have the capacity. I know that’s who we are, and it’s whowe’ve always been.

As we ask where our next stepsshould fall on this path, we would do well to learn a lesson from our ownhistory. In the aftermath of World War II and its great toll, America had thechoice, just like we do today, to turn inward. Instead, Secretary of StateGeorge Marshall saw in both defeated and allied nations the threat ofbankruptcy, homes and railways destroyed, people who were starving, economiesdecimated.

He had the foresight to know thatthere could be no political stability and no peace without renewed economicstrength. He knew we had an obligation to partner with Europe, help it rebuild,modernize it, and give it the push that it needed to become the powerful andpeaceful trading partner it is today. After the war, my friends, we didn’tspike the football; we created a more level playing field, and we are strongerfor it today.

When I was 12 years old, I hadthe privilege of living in Berlin, Germany, where my father, a Foreign Serviceofficer, was called to duty. And one day, I visited the eastern side of Berlin,the part that hadn’t received any of the help from the United States and itscourageous Marshall Plan.

The difference was undeniable,even to my 12-year-old eyes. There were few people on the streets, few smileson the faces of those who were there. I saw the difference between hope anddespair, freedom and oppression, people who were given a chance to do somethingand people who weren’t. If the recovering western half of urope was regainingits vibrant color, the place that I visited was still in black and white.

When I went back to West Berlin,two things happened. First, I was summarily grounded for having venturedwithout permission to the other side of the city. (Laughter.) And second, Istarted to pay special attention to the plaques on the buildings thatrecognized the United States of America for lending a hand in the rebuilding.And I was proud.

The Marshall Plan, the IMF, theWorld Bank, and other postwar organizations led by the United States areevidence of our ability to make the right decisions at the right time, takingrisks today in the interest of tomorrow.

Now we face a similar crossroads.We can be complacent, or we can be competitive. As new markets bloom in everycorner of the globe – and they will, with or without us – we can be there tohelp plant the seeds, or we can cede that power to others.

Given the chance to lead a secondgreat American century, let’s not just look to the global landscape around ustoday; let’s look to the one ahead of us, look over the horizon, look to thedays to come 15 and 50 years from now, and marshal the courage that defined theMarshall Plan so that we might secure a new future of freedom.

Let’s remember that theprinciples of Jefferson’s time, in a nation that was just getting used to itsindependence, still echo in our own time, in a world that’s still getting usedto our interdependence. America’s national interest in leading strongly stillendures in this world.

So let me leave you with athought. When tragedy and terror visit our neighbors around the globe, whetherby the hand of man or by the hand of God, many nations give of themselves tohelp. But only one is expected to.

With the leadership of PresidentObama and the cooperation I will work hard to secure from the Congress, we willcontinue to lead as the indispensable nation, not because we seek this role,but because the world needs us to fill it. Not as a choice, but as a charge.Not because we view it as a burden, but because we know it to be a privilege.

That is what is special about theUnited States of America. That is what is special about being an American. Thatexceptional quality that we share is what I will bring with me on my travels onyour behalf. But our sense of responsibility cannot be reserved for responsesto emergencies alone. It has to be exercised in the pursuit of preventingdisaster, of strengthening alliances, of building markets, of promotinguniversal rights, and standing up for our values.

Over the next four years, I askyou to stand with our President and our country to continue to conductourselves with the understanding that what happens over there matters righthere, and it matters that we get this right.

Thank you. (Applause.)






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