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Category Archives: Election 2012
November 6, 2012
November 3, 2012
Presidents Putin, Chavez and the retired Fidel Castro have expressed varying degrees of support for President Obama’s re-election; now it looks as if the mullahs in Iran are casting their vote. According to the Guardian, Iran is making a goodwill … Continue reading
Nothing is more pointless or more irresistible than to try to predict the outcome of Tuesday’s presidential election. It’s pointless both because so many resources and so much energy has been spent on the forecasting effort up until now and … Continue reading
November 2, 2012
The jobs report is out; 171,000 jobs were created in October and the unemployment rate rose to 7.9 percent, and the last two job totals were revised upward. The two political camps will do what they do best and spin … Continue reading
November 1, 2012
The New York Times reports that eight of the eleven governorships up for grabs this year are currently held by Democrats, leaving Republicans with an opportunity to improve on their 29–20 advantage. Republicans are leading in five of these races, with … Continue reading
October 30, 2012
Ann Althouse listens to Glenn Reynolds interview Camille Paglia about her disappointment with President Obama’s first term and nods along vigorously to the points being made: You don’t want government agencies being empowered to intrude into people’s lives like this. The … Continue reading
October 28, 2012
A week out from the U.S. election, the left-leaning London Guardian runs with a piece praising Jeb Bush’s education reforms in Florida—and touting Bush as the source of Obama’s own ideas on education reform.
Up to a point, Lord Copper: if Jeb Bush were really the inspiration for President Obama we doubt the teachers’ unions would be so grimly bent on re-electing the democrat come hell or high water (both of which, by the way are heading toward the northeastern United States this weekend).
But here’s the larger point: what was once viewed by the conventional wisdom and the smug chattering classes as an ugly conservative attack on that most sacred of blue, progressive institutions (the public school system run by life-tenured, certified education professionals on civil service principles) has in the last fifteen years emerged as the center of a growing national consensus on school reform. Continue reading
We still don’t know exactly what happened between the Pentagon, the State Department, the CIA and the White House as Americans in Libya requested support for Ambassador Stevens and his team in their final hours, and we almost certainly won’t … Continue reading
The world’s eyes are firmly fixed on Ohio this week, and well they should be. It is mathematically possible that a candidate could lose Ohio and win an electoral majority, it is deeply unlikely. The close race in Ohio is … Continue reading
October 26, 2012
As with most presidential contenders, Obama and Romney don’t agree on much. But as a recent piece in the New York Times points out, there is one notable exception: Energy and climate change. Despite the fact that both candidates believe in anthropogenic … Continue reading
October 25, 2012
Pundits transfixed by fluctuating poll numbers are starting to wonder: What if nobody wins? In what’s looking to be an extremely tight election, a few votes in a few precincts may make the difference between a second Obama term or … Continue reading
October 23, 2012
Being in London for the third presidential debate changes one’s perspective; for one thing, since 9 PM Eastern Time is 2 AM in London, I slept through the actual event and read about it on Twitter and the internet before … Continue reading
October 21, 2012
The third debate could be The One for President Obama. A strong, confident performance could give him his most successful night since the debates began and leave him poised for a strong finish in a close race. But it comes at a difficult time; President Obama would have had a much easier time winning a foreign policy debate before September 10, when the world seemed to be going his way. Now the picture is messier, and it is going to be harder to use his experience and track record as a steward of the nation’s foreign policy to convince voters to stick with the devil they know.
This is not about the murder of four Americans by terrorists in Benghazi, and not even about the fumbling and mumbling with which the administration addressed the event. That event and the subsequent controversy (including CIA documents that appear to support key contentions coming from the White House) are less important for the election than the questions they raise about the state of President Obama’s grand strategy and it is the larger questions rather than the sequence of blunders that the President needs to address if he is going to make foreign policy work for him on November 6.
Campaigns aren’t the best forum for this kind of discussion, but the President has or at least had a grand strategy, and it isn’t, as these things go, a bad one. Looking at the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and the danger that radicals and fanatics in the Muslim world could capitalize on anti-American feeling to succeed where Bin Laden failed and unite a sizeable portion of the Islamic world behind the idea of a civilizational conflict with the United States, the President set about reducing America’s military profile in the Middle East and attacking the radical strategy by narrowing the gap between the United States and the Muslim masses as much as he could. He also set about repairing relations with leading European countries, partly with an eye to assembling a broader diplomatic coalition to deal with Iran.
By working more closely with regional partners and moderate Islamists (like the Turks), the President wanted to reduce America’s direct exposure to the region’s dangerous, messy conflicts while steering the region toward more democratic forms of governance, more moderate forms of religion – and all within a geopolitical framework that protected vital American interests.
It was a strategy of withdrawal because the President believed that under George W. Bush if not before, the United States was overstretched and overcommitted. He sought to reduce America’s commitments and liabilities in the region while protecting our vital interests by shifting to the role of an offshore balancing power. Continue reading
October 19, 2012
With Monday’s debate on foreign policy just around the corner, Foreign Policy’s Rosa Brooks takes a look at Obama’s record and doesn’t much like what she sees. Particularly in the Middle East, many of Obama’s most ballyhooed policies have failed to get … Continue reading