What Drew Westen said:
The way to win the center on national security is not to try to craft centrist positions on national security. Particularly in the post-9/11 era, Americans want leaders who will decisively pull the trigger. But “pulling the trigger” today doesn’t mean rattling our sabers almost as loud as the GOP, or complaining that we don’t have the votes when we have the majority. Americans may not understand the subtleties of cloture, but they get the gist: that they handed the ball off to the party that’s now in the majority, who they expected to run with the ball instead of consistently playing defense. The way to project strength on national security and to win back the Reagan Democrats who voted for Bill Clinton (despite his draft record) and flirted with the Democratic Party again in 2006 is to exude strength, particularly in the face of aggression, whether that aggression is from al Qaeda or from a bully in his bully pulpit.
Yes, I agree. One doubts that voters have detailed views about the substance of foreign policy issues. They can, however, tell the difference between politicians who act like they have a plan in mind and are acting decisively to implement it, and politicians who appear paralyzed or obsessed with positioning.