The situation in the Arab world has changed dramatically since that speech in Cairo. Voters have no idea who the president considers an ally or an enemy, or how he'll protect American assets not only in Libya but across the Middle East and North Africa. No wonder approval ratings for the president's foreign policy are tanking.
Voters know there's a better way. Christopher Schroeder recently pointed out in the Harvard Business Review that the Arab world has nearly twice as many people as Brazil, a GDP larger than Russia and India combined, and per capita GDP nearly double that of China. Disposable income there has grown 50 percent since Obama took office. In the next three years, nearly all of the 100 million Arabs under the age of 15 will have mobile phones and be online. The young entrepreneurs of the Arab world are not the ones fueling the riots, and they are not the ones running the government crackdowns. They are the ones building a better Arab economy and growing a moderate middle class there.
In the Wall Street Journal, Romney recently called for a new approach to foreign policy, to "encourage liberty and opportunity for those who have for too long known only corruption and oppression. The dignity of work and the ability to steer the course of their lives are the best alternatives to extremism. But this Middle East policy will be undermined unless we restore the three sinews of our influence: our economic strength, our military strength and the strength of our values."
Romney makes a good point about leveraging free enterprise into a better foreign policy. Young Arab entrepreneurs are the ones that Romney is putting his faith in. That's a better "new beginning" than the one we've seen for the last four years.