In the midst of his first overseas trip as U.S. President, Barack Obama
is reminding Americans that they live in an interconnected world. His weekly radio and
Internet address focuses on the need to work with other countries to
deal with economic and security problems.
President Obama's weekly address, recorded on Air Force One, amounted to a postcard from Europe.
But it was a postcard with an important message.
"In this new century, we live in a world that has grown smaller and more interconnected than at any time in history. Threats to the nation's security and economy can no longer be kept at bay by oceans or by borders drawn on maps," he said.
He reminded Americans that the terrorist threat is global, that pollutants from one country can impact climate around the world, and that abuses by bankers in major financial centers like New York and London can have a ripple effect through the international economy.
"The challenges of our time threaten the peace and prosperity of every single nation and no one nation can meet them alone," he said.
President Obama said that is the reason why he came to Europe. And he cited the results of the G20 economic summit in London as an example of what can happen when leaders from the world come together to tackle a global crisis.
"All of us are now moving aggressively to get our banks lending again," he said. "All of us are working to spur growth and create jobs. And all of us have agreed on the most sweeping reform of our financial regulatory framework in a generation."
Mr. Obama also reflected on his one-on-one talks on the sidelines of the London summit with the leaders of China and Russia, and advances being made to build a strong working relationship with Beijing and Moscow. And he referred to his ongoing discussions with NATO allies about his new strategy for Afghanistan and Pakistan.
"As we have worked this week to find common ground and strengthen our alliances, we have not solved all of our problems. And we have not agreed on every point or every issue in every meeting. But we have made real and unprecedented progress," he said.
The Republican Party response to the president's weekly address dealt with domestic economics - primarily the fight in Washington over the federal budget for the 2010 fiscal year.
Speaking for the Republicans, Congressman Paul Ryan of Wisconsin said the president's budget plan will make America's current economic crisis much worse.
"Put simply, the Democrats' budget spends too much, taxes too much, and borrows too much from our kids and their kids," he said.
Congressional Democrats pushed a modified version of the president's spending plan through the House and Senate on Thursday, despite strong Republican opposition.