The Candidates and The World

Transition 2012

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

Midday Update: U.S. Voters’ Economy Focus Not on the EU

by Newsteam Staff Thursday, May 31, 2012
Photo of the Day: President Barack Obama hosts a reception for Jewish American Heritage Month in the East Room of the White House in Washington May 30, 2012 (Kevin Lamarque/Courtesy Reuters). Photo of the Day: President Barack Obama hosts a reception for Jewish American Heritage Month in the East Room of the White House in Washington May 30, 2012 (Kevin Lamarque/Courtesy Reuters).

Though the candidates and their advisers are carefully watching the European financial crisis and experts warn problems in the eurozone could knock the United States out of its fragile recovery, Gallup polling shows U.S. voters are not highly focused on the EU’s financial state. Of those polled, 49 percent said they are following Europe’s financial news, including 16 percent watching “very closely.” Read more »

Foreign Policy Update: The Race and the U.S. Role in the World

by Newsteam Staff Thursday, May 31, 2012
Workers repair lights on a globe outside a mall in Manila April 22, 2012 (Cheryl Ravelo/Courtesy Reuters). Workers repair lights on a globe outside a mall in Manila April 22, 2012 (Cheryl Ravelo/Courtesy Reuters).

As part of their series on twelve campaign issues facing the next president, the Brookings Institution recently hosted a panel discussion examining the U.S role in the world. Read more »

Midday Update: Republicans Divided on Action for Syria

by Newsteam Staff Wednesday, May 30, 2012
Photo of the Day: Floor of the New York Stock Exchange, May 29, 2012. (Brendan McDermid/Courtesy Reuters) Photo of the Day: Floor of the New York Stock Exchange, May 29, 2012. (Brendan McDermid/Courtesy Reuters)

While Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney has criticized President Barack Obama’s opposition to arming Syrian rebels, other members of his party seem divided on Syria, with some congressional Republicans sharing the president’s reluctance and others urging airstrikes (NYT). Read more »

Syria Update: Obama’s Caution on Intervention Criticized

by Newsteam Staff Wednesday, May 30, 2012
Demonstrators take part in a protest against Syria's President Bashar al-Assad at Talbiseh, near Homs, May 25, 2012 (Shaam News Network/Courtesy Reuters). Demonstrators protest against Syria's President Bashar al-Assad at Talbiseh, near Homs, May 25, 2012 (Shaam News Network/Courtesy Reuters).

Violence in Syria is back in the campaign spotlight as President Barack Obama faces tough criticism from GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney over his handling of the escalating situation. Read more »

Midday Update: Mixed Message on Swing-State Economies

by Newsteam Staff Tuesday, May 29, 2012
Photo of the Day: Mitt Romney supporters wave American flags during a Memorial Day ceremony held at the Veterans Museum & Memorial Center in San Diego, California May 28, 2012 (Denis Poroy/Courtesy Reuters). Photo of the Day: Mitt Romney supporters wave American flags during a Memorial Day ceremony held at the Veterans Museum & Memorial Center in San Diego, California May 28, 2012 (Denis Poroy/Courtesy Reuters).

GOP presidential hopeful Mitt Romney is attempting to campaign in Ohio and other swing states (TIME) on a bad economy, which he would like to blame on President Barack Obama. This line, however, puts in him at odds with the Republican governors who seem to be echoing Obama’s message of slow-but-promising progress. Read more »

Foreign Policy Update: An Issue Waiting for Its Moment

by Newsteam Staff Tuesday, May 29, 2012
A soldier carries ammunition on a naval ship during a war game near the Strait of Hormuz December 31, 2011. (Fars News/Courtesy Reuters) A soldier carries ammunition on a naval ship during a war game near the Strait of Hormuz December 31, 2011. (Fars News/Courtesy Reuters)

The economy remains the biggest focus this election cycle, and will likely remain so, but some analysts suggest it takes just one big foreign policy/national security event to pivot the election debate and perhaps even decide the race.

In last week’s post for Foreign Policy’s “The List,” Uri Friedman looked at five potential events that could pull focus from the economy, including the classic “October surprise,” that thing no one can foresee. Read more »

Views from Abroad: Brazil on U.S. Immigration

by Toni Johnson Sunday, May 27, 2012
Sugar Loaf mountain in Rio de Janeiro, April 8, 2010. (Sergio Moraes/ Courtesy Reuters) Sugar Loaf mountain in Rio de Janeiro, April 8, 2010. (Sergio Moraes/ Courtesy Reuters)

On this week’s views, we have some interesting items via the site Worldcrunch, which kindly translates partner news outlets from around the world into English and has a section devoted to “Eyes on the U.S.”

To start, we head to Brazil to hear the story of Lucas Santos, who came to the United States illegally with his parents thirteen years ago as a boy of eight. Read more »

Midday Update: In Iowa, Obama Talks Energy and Jobs

by Newsteam Staff Friday, May 25, 2012
Photo of the Day: President Barack Obama with voters in Newton, Iowa May 24, 2012 (Kevin Lamarque/Courtesy Reuters). Photo of the Day: President Barack Obama with voters in Newton, Iowa May 24, 2012 (Kevin Lamarque/Courtesy Reuters).

President Barack Obama took to the campaign trail Thursday in a speech in Iowa calling for clean-energy tax credits, saying they are good for both the environment and the economy (Politico). Read more »

Economy Update: Romney’s Education Plan Faces Doubts

by Newsteam Staff Friday, May 25, 2012
First grader Adam Kotzian does his writing work on the floor of his classroom at Eagleview Elementary school in Thornton, Colorado March 31, 2010 (Rick Wilking/Courtesy Reuters). First grader Adam Kotzian does his writing work on the floor of his classroom at Eagleview Elementary school in Thornton, Colorado March 31, 2010 (Rick Wilking/Courtesy Reuters).

Some analysts are saying Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney’s plan to overhaul education could make things worse, in a system where experts already worry that the United State faces difficulties creating a workforce to meet the demands of the 21st century job market. Read more »

Midday Roundup: Romney Tackles U.S. Education Woes

by Newsteam Staff Thursday, May 24, 2012
Photo of the Day: The Air Force Academy graduation ceremony in Colorado Springs, Colorado May 23, 2012 (Kevin Lamarque/Courtesy Reuters). Photo of the Day: The Air Force Academy graduation ceremony in Colorado Springs, Colorado May 23, 2012 (Kevin Lamarque/Courtesy Reuters).

The Romney campaign released a white paper proposing a major education system restructuring and is already touting support from Republican governors around the country, including Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, and Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell. Read more »