The Candidates and The World

Transition 2012

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

Video Brief Roundup: Arab Revolutions and the UN

by Newsteam Staff Friday, December 28, 2012

These videos are from a series with CFR fellows on vital foreign policy and national security topics that will face President Barack Obama in his second term. They were recorded during the campaign and originally posted as part of the President’s Inbox, a collection of materials on issues that will face the next president beginning next year.

Steven A. Cook on the Arab Revolutions

The administration will likely confront a greatly changed Middle East political landscape due to ongoing civil upheaval, says Steven A. Cook, CFR’s senior fellow for Middle Eastern studies. He says the president will have to grapple with the fact that the regional political order “that made it relatively easier and relatively less expensive for the United States to pursue its interests in the Middle East has been turned over.”

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Video Brief Roundup: Pakistan, China, and North Korea

by Newsteam Staff Thursday, December 27, 2012

These videos are from a series with CFR fellows on vital foreign policy and national security topics that will face President Barack Obama in his second term. They were recorded during the campaign and originally posted as part of the President’s Inbox, a collection of materials on issues that will face the next president beginning next year.

Daniel Markey on Pakistan

In this video, Daniel Markey, CFR’s senior fellow for India, Pakistan, and South Asia, discusses the strategic importance of Pakistan, saying the administration “will be forced to come to terms with the fact that there are no good options when it comes to Pakistan.”

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Video Brief Roundup: Foreign Aid, Global Economy, and Trade

by Newsteam Staff Wednesday, December 26, 2012

These videos are from a series with CFR fellows and other experts on vital foreign policy and national security topics that will face President Barack Obama in his second term. They were recorded during the campaign and originally posted as part of the President’s Inbox, a collection of materials on issues that will face the next president beginning next year.

Isobel Coleman on Foreign Aid

Isobel Coleman, director of CFR’s Civil Societies, Markets, and Democracy Initiative says the incoming administration will have to retain the relevancy of U.S. foreign aid programs in an environment where the role of official foreign assistance from governments has dramatically reduced. The next administration will likely continue to shift aid resources away from Iraq and Afghanistan, and away from middle-income countries towards poorer countries, Coleman says.

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Cabinet Update: Kerry Tapped to be Secretary of State

by Newsteam Staff Friday, December 21, 2012
Senator Kerry speaks to reporters after his meeting with south Sudan's President Kiir in Juba January 8, 2011. (Goran Tomasevic/Courtesy Reuters) Senator John Kerry in South Sudan, January 2011. (Goran Tomasevic/Courtesy Reuters)

President Obama nominated Sen. John Kerry (D-MA) (BostonGlobe) to replace Hillary Clinton as secretary of state on Friday. “In a sense, John’s entire life has prepared him for this role,” Obama said during an appearance with Kerry at the White House. Read more »

Congress Update: New House and Senate Committee Chairs

by Newsteam Staff Friday, December 21, 2012
Sen. Robert Menendez (D-NJ) speaks during an immigration reform rally in front of the U.S. Capitol on Capitol Hill October 13, 2009. (Jose Luis Magana/Courtesy Reuters) Sen. Robert Menendez (D-NJ) speaks during an immigration reform rally in front of the U.S. Capitol, October 13, 2009. (Jose Luis Magana/Courtesy Reuters)

In the Washington Post, Jennifer Rubin examines Rep. Ed Royce’s (R-CA) views on topics like Libya, the Arab Spring, and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Read more »

Fiscal Cliff Update: Dueling Press Conferences

by Newsteam Staff Thursday, December 20, 2012
Sens. Schumer and Harkin discuss Boehner's Plan B on fiscal reform in Washington December 19, 2012. (Gary Cameron/Courtesy Reuters) Sens. Schumer and Harkin discuss Boehner's Plan B on fiscal reform in Washington December 19, 2012. (Gary Cameron/Courtesy Reuters)

President Obama gave a press conference Wednesday during which he answered questions on the fiscal cliff, saying:

[U]p until about a couple of days ago, if you looked at it, the Republicans in the House and Speaker Boehner I think were in a position to say, we’ve gotten a fair deal.  The fact that they haven’t taken it yet is puzzling and I think a question that you’re going to have to address to them. Read more »

Fiscal Cliff Update: The Problem in Graphic Detail

by Newsteam Staff Wednesday, December 19, 2012
President Obama hosts bipartisan meeting with Congressional leaders in the White House November 16, 2012. (Larry Downing/Courtesy Reuters) President Obama hosts bipartisan meeting with Congressional leaders in the White House November 16, 2012. (Larry Downing/Courtesy Reuters)

In Foreign Affairs, Sam Pepple uses data from the Tax Policy Center to illustrate what’s actually being negotiated when it comes to the fiscal cliff. The graphic details the tax increases and cuts that are being discussed and shows how tax rates would be affected if there is no deal reached before the end of the year. Read more »

Fiscal Cliff Update: Concessions, a New Offer, and a Plan B

by Newsteam Staff Tuesday, December 18, 2012
Speaker of the House John Boehner arrives for negotiations on the "fiscal cliff" with President Obama at the White House December 13, 2012. (Joshua Roberts/Courtesy Reuters) Speaker of the House John Boehner arrives for negotiations on the "fiscal cliff" with President Obama at the White House December 13, 2012. (Joshua Roberts/Courtesy Reuters)

House Speaker John Boehner proposed a “plan B” (WashPo) Tuesday morning that will raise taxes on those making over $1 million in case no comprehensive deal is reached on the fiscal cliff by the end of the year. Boehner said that President Obama’s most recent proposal is still not “balanced” and hopes to bring his “plan B” to a vote by the end of the week, reports the Washington Post: Read more »

Cabinet Update: Kerry and Hagel Nominations Likely

by Newsteam Staff Monday, December 17, 2012
U.S. Senator and former Democratic presidential nominee Kerry addresses delegates during the Democratic National Convention September 6, 2012. (Jim Young/Courtesy Reuters) U.S. Senator and former Democratic presidential nominee Kerry addresses delegates during the Democratic National Convention September 6, 2012. (Jim Young/Courtesy Reuters)

President Obama has decided on Sen. John Kerry (D-MA) as his choice for secretary of State (Reuters), according to multiple sources, who say an official announcement is expected as early as mid-week. If nominated, Kerry is unlikely to face a Senate confirmation fight (CSMonitor). Read more »

What They’re Saying: The Fiscal Cliff and Obama’s Nominations

by Newsteam Staff Friday, December 14, 2012
Senator Hagel speaks during a news conference in Omaha March 12, 2007. (Dave Kaup/Courtesy Reuters) Senator Hagel speaks during a news conference in Omaha March 12, 2007. (Dave Kaup/Courtesy Reuters)
On the Fiscal Cliff

Hal Movius, a social psychologist specializing in negotiation and visiting professor at the Darden Graduate School of Business, writes in TIME that while the fiscal cliff negotiations are often cast as a two-party conflict between President Obama and House Speaker John Boehner, the situation is “quite different”: Read more »