"Know that America is a friend of each nation and every man, woman, and child who seeks a future of peace and dignity, and we are ready to lead once more."
"Ready to lead once more..." That short phrase says so much. It talks to our recent history of international relations, as well as our more distant past. It talks to the larger story of America's role in the world. And most significantly, it says a lot about what leadership really is.
What I think I hear the President saying is that leadership is a choice. America's position in the world is not a birthright. It is something we must prepare for, something we must decide to do. And by telling the world we are prepared to lead, I hear him inviting them to follow. It's not a demand or a declaration of what they must do. It's an announcement of our readiness to engage with the world in a different way than we've used in the past 8 years.
I like it.