Comparisons between President-elect Barack Obama and President Franklin D. Roosevelt abound. Time put Obama on its cover wielding Roosevelt’s trademark hat, pince-nez, and cigarette holder. "A lot of people around Barack are reading books about FDR’s first hundred days," said one Obama adviser. Most of the attention has focused on Roosevelt’s domestic policy, and the possibility of a New New Deal. But Roosevelt’s foreign policy–and his focus on global architecture–offers equally important lessons for Obama. What is missing so far from today’s talk of a progressive-era-in-the-making is a unifying agenda for American foreign policy that will leave the world safer and more prosperous when President-elect Obama leaves office. In his time, FDR led America through World War II and then became a key architect of the new world order that followed. Before he died, Roosevelt conducted the critical diplomacy that established the United Nations, the world’s first lasting institution of global governance.
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