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Obama: Bush falls short as world leader

Obama 2008
Presidential candidate Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., came home to Chicago for the third time in recent months to deliver a foreign policy address.Steve Pope / AP
/ Source: The Associated Press

Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Barack Obama said Monday that President Bush has fallen short of his role as leader of the free world, and the 2008 election is a chance to change that.

"This president may occupy the White House, but for the last six years the position of leader of the free world has remained open. And it's time to fill that role once more," Obama said, according to excerpts of his speech prepared for delivery to the Chicago Council on Global Affairs.

The Illinois senator was in his hometown to deliver a foreign policy address that was rescheduled last week after the shootings at Virginia Tech.

In his remarks, Obama said the world is disappointed in America.

"The disappointment that so many around the world feel toward America right now is only a testament to the high expectations they hold for us. We must meet those expectations again, not because being respected is an end in itself, but because the security of America and the wider world demands it," according to the speech.

Monday's speech is the third time in recent months that Obama has come home to deliver a foreign policy address.

In a March speech before the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, a bipartisan pro-Israel lobby, Obama blamed Bush administration failings in Iraq for strengthening the strategic position of Iran. He called for a reduction of U.S. forces in Iraq, during a November address before the Chicago Council on Global Affairs.