Thursday, May 1, 2008

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Why I'll be (relatively) mute this week

I'm in London for the latter half of this week attending a Global Leadership Forum conference entitled America and the World Beyond 2008: Future Challenges and Possibilities. The campaign panel was certainly not boring -- for me, the entertaining highlight was when Peter Wehner unironically compared John McCain to Pericles of Athens.

There's a blog devoted to the conference as well -- click there to see panel highlights.

I was asked to contribute a pre-conference entry -- here's the link. The key point:

As the presidential campaign has worn on, each candidate has managed to annoy, alienate, or anger other parts of the globe. Part of this is due to the odd dynamics of this particular campaign. Between the Democrats, Obama and Clinton need to highlight their differences even though they agree on 95% of their domestic platforms. This leaves foreign policy as the obvious battleground. Meanwhile, Senator McCain's perceived comparative advantage is his foreign policy resume -- although his grasp of foreign policy details is not as sharp as it should be. This combination guarantees future quote-worthy material.

A lot of these contretemps will subside once the Democrat's nominee is determined. Some of them will persist, however. The rising tide of protectionist sentiment will likely lead the Democrat to continue to bash trade deals. McCain's need to secure the GOP base will give him cause to talk tough on the Middle East. Neither gambit will play well abroad.

posted by Dan on 05.01.08 at 06:54 AM


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