The Candidates and The World

Transition 2012

A guide to foreign policy and the 2012 U.S. presidential transition.

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Foreign Policy Echoes in the Campaign

by Toni Johnson
February 8, 2012

People vote at a polling place in Los Angeles, California, November 2, 2010. (Lucy Nicholson/Courtesy Reuters) People vote at a polling place in Los Angeles, California, November 2, 2010. (Lucy Nicholson/Courtesy Reuters)

Economic challenges have been the dominant theme in the 2012 U.S. presidential contest and are likely to remain so, if recent public opinion surveys (Pew) are any guide. But “events overseas could scramble things in a heartbeat,” CFR’s James Lindsay notes in The Water’s Edge, a must-read CFR blog on the politics shaping U.S. foreign policy.

Recall some of the global drama that played out during the 2008 campaign – the assassination of Benazir Bhutto, the Russian-Georgian war, and the epic collapse of world financial markets. They provided a real-time test of candidates’ responses to consequential events beyond U.S. borders and offered voters a glimpse of their governing style.

Domestic developments, too, can provide insight into candidates’ world views and have implications for foreign policy. As CFR’s Renewing America project explains, the health and vitality of domestic America is intrinsic to its ability to project its power abroad. The Candidates and the World is a new blog aimed at helping to map the intersections between domestic and international policy in the presidential campaigns as well as offer a steady guide for tracking national security issues that resonate on the hustings over the next nine months.

In a crowded field of blogs, microblogs, and horse race journalism, the Candidates and the World will be a no-spin zone, emphasizing policy over politics in the run up to the Nov. 6 polls. The blog will be a gateway to CFR’s campaign and foreign policy resources, including Candidate Issue Trackers looking at what the presidential aspirants are saying about major foreign policy and national security issues and a new video series in which CFR fellows provide primers on issues ranging from Pakistan to the Arab world’s democratic upheavals.

The blog’s other features include a daily morning menu of the most relevant foreign policy statements or events related to the campaign and “Views from Abroad,” a feature that rounds up foreign reporting and opinion on the campaign as well as interviews with experts from around the world.

Want to share your insights on foreign policy matters? We welcome your comments but please note we will focus on enabling inputs that contribute to serious debate on policy issues.

So mark this spot and stay tuned for your regular policy briefings.

1 Comment

  • Posted by Jackie

    I am looking forward to this Toni, thanks. I am always connecting the dots between domestic and international affairs; the two are intricately and meaningfully related… it’s “time” for this discussion.