CFR Presents

Campaign 2008

The Candidates and the World

Edwards Eyes Hawkeyes

by campaign2008 Tuesday, July 31, 2007

For thirty-five years now, the Iowa caucus has stood as the first major electoral event of U.S. presidential primaries. As such, the state draws quite a lot of attention, particularly from outsider candidates looking to create momentum with an early splash. Nobody is looking at Iowa more intently than John Edwards, who lost the state narrowly in 2004 and hasn’t shut down his operations there since. Real Clear Politics’ poll average puts Edwards just a hair ahead of Hillary Clinton, with 23.8 percent of the state’s Democratic vote to her 23.5 percent—though the same polls also show Edwards’ numbers having fallen in recent months.

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Morning Update: Obama on Iraq Withdrawal

by campaign2008 Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Barack Obama said his first act as president (CNN) would be to ask his Joint Chiefs to put together a plan to “begin withdrawing” from Iraq. He added that the withdrawal would in all likelihood be “messy” and that “people who say we’ll just pull them out are irresponsible.”

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Stumping on Trade for the Latino Vote

by campaign2008 Monday, July 30, 2007

Florida has a way of playing kingmaker in U.S. elections, and the Latin American lobby has a way of having its way in Florida. It’s a little ironic that this is the case, given that the United States is often criticized for giving short shrift to Latin America in its foreign policy dealings. It does, however, mean that the policy community often gets a more than a sneak peak at would-be Latin America policy as candidates stump for support in the Sunshine state.

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Morning Update: Rogue Talk on the Trail

by campaign2008 Friday, July 27, 2007

Mitt Romney weighed in on the argument between Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama over whether to hold direct talks with rogue nations, saying diplomacy on a lower level should occur, but that having the president meet with leaders like Hugo Chavez and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad would be “as ill-conceived as having Speaker Pelosi go to Syria.” (NYT)

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Next Time in Baghdad?

by Michael Moran Thursday, July 26, 2007

Here’s a provocative idea from a provocative guy: Why not hold the next Democratic and Republican presidential debates in Baghdad? The idea, from Ralph Peters, an author and former military intelligence analyst who writes a column for the New York Post, grows out of his sense that there is a disconnect between what presidential candidates and American lawmakers see from Iraq and what really is going on. In his words, “To a military professional, the tactical progress made in Iraq over the last few months is impressive. To a member of Congress, it’s an annoyance.”

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Note to Candidates: The Global Mood Improves

by Robert McMahon, Editor Wednesday, July 25, 2007

The Pew Center’s indispensable Global Attitudes project has a new survey packing some surprises, and more required reading for presidential candidates’ foreign policy sherpas. The 47-nation review of public opinion finds a clear correlation between growing per capita gross domestic product and contentment in developing nations. No great shock there. But it also found “broad support for free-market economic policies across Latin America, despite the election in the past decade of leftist leaders such as Venezuela’s Hugo Chavez.” In Africa, where poverty remains widespread, the Pew survey found more hopefulness about the future five years from now than in any other region.

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Finally, a debate on Iraq

by Robert McMahon, Editor Tuesday, July 24, 2007

The “debates” so far for both Republican and Democratic presidential candidates have really been closer to buttoned down “Town Hall” meetings with little time for insight on important issues. Last night’s CNN/YouTube event gave Americans one of the closest moments to an actual foreign policy debate among candidates. The Democratic contenders were prodded by questions from citizens clearly frustrated over how Iraq policy is being handled in Washington.

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