CFR Presents

Campaign 2008

The Candidates and the World

Voter Views on Foreign Policy

by campaign2008 Thursday, July 31, 2008

A new poll from the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press shows the American public increasingly concerned about rising energy and food costs. The national survey, conducted July 23-27 among 1,503 adults, shows Sen. Barack Obama (D-IL) did not gain significantly from his trip to the Middle East and Europe last week. The survey indicates voters are split on which candidate is better on foreign policy. 43 percent listed McCain, while 42 percent named Obama.

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Morning Update: A Trade Policy Debate

by campaign2008 Thursday, July 31, 2008

The Wall Street Journal is hosting an online debate on trade policy between an economic adviser to Sen. Barack Obama (D-IL), Daniel Tarullo, and an economic adviser to Sen. John McCain (R-AZ), Phillip Levy. Both have offered differed responses to collapse of the WTO talks in Geneva.In a Washington Post op-ed, former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, who advises McCain, assesses the changing conditions in Iraq and says a withdrawal from Iraq is not necessary to free forces for Afghanistan.

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Morning Update: Engaging Pakistan

by campaign2008 Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Sen. Barack Obama (D-IL) and Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) both had discussions Tuesday with the visiting Pakistani prime minister. Obama said he had a “productive and wide-ranging discussion,” in which he and Gilani discussed “how to more effectively deal with the central front in the war on terrorism—the threat from al-Qaeda and the Taliban originating from the Pakistani tribal areas—which threatens the United States, Pakistan, and Afghanistan.”

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From the Inbox

by campaign2008 Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Reader Bill Donahue writes:

Much has been made about the comments of Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki regarding Obama’s 16 month timetable for withdrawal of U.S. Troops. The common spin is that al-Maliki is putting pressure on the Bush administration. It might also be fueled by Iraqi concern about the U.S. election as well as local elections there. The Prime Minister knows that a portion of the United States wants to leave Iraq. If we do so, he is on his own. It could motivate him to ally himself with the powerful al-Sadr militant faction or at least join the chorus of anti-American groups. Also, there are provincial elections forthcoming in Iraq as well. It may be to al-Maliki’s advantage to seem tough and independent in their own election cycle. The militant radical Montique al-Sadr incidentally also is a supporter of Obama’s plans. He wants US troops out so he, an Iran supporter, can take over. So, if he is going to stay in power, al-Maliki, might feel the need to run toward his “right” just as Obama is now running toward his “center.” Also, militant groups will play upon the election to get U.S. troops out. Curiously, streetwise Iraqis are not so sure they want the US out too soon. It would destabilize the country and re-open the sectarian violence. Then what have we accomplished and what do they have but more bloodshed?

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Debating the Surge

by Joanna Klonsky Tuesday, July 29, 2008

As the presidential candidates continue to debate the success of the troop surge, the American Prospect has convened a diverse group of Iraq experts to weigh in. Included in the panel are CFR Senior Fellow for Defense Policy Stephen Biddle, Global Americana Institute President Juan Cole, and Center for American Progress Senior Fellow Lawrence Korb, among others.

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Morning Update: Energy Fields

by campaign2008 Tuesday, July 29, 2008

After touring a California oil field on Monday, Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) again called for offshore drilling (WashPost). He disputed claims that offshore drilling might not yield benefits for years, saying some oil producers told him there are some cases in which oil could be available “within a matter of months.” He said the timeframe would depend “on the location and whether you use existing rigs or have to install new rigs.”

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Ideas on Iraq for the Next President

by Joanna Klonsky Monday, July 28, 2008

In Politico‘s new “Dear 44” series, experts from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the Center for American Progress Action Fund debate a different policy issue facing the next president each week. This week, Aram Zamgochian (PDF), project director for Middle East and Africa Affairs at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, and Brian Katulis, Senior Fellow at the Center for American Progress, discuss what the next administration’s policy toward Iraq should look like.

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Morning Update: Pakistan and Iraq

by campaign2008 Monday, July 28, 2008

In an interview with NBC’s Meet the Press, Sen. Barack Obama (D-IL) said too much U.S. financial assistance to Pakistan has been military aid, and “not enough of it has been in the form of building schools and building infrastructure in the country to help develop and give opportunity to the Pakistani people.” He also discussed Afghanistan and the troop surge in Iraq.

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‘Obamamania’ and McCain’s Response

by campaign2008 Friday, July 25, 2008

Several of the world’s leading papers focused their news coverage today on the overwhelming response U.S. presidential candidate Sen. Barack Obama (D-IL) has garnered thus far on his tour of Europe. Germany’s Deutsche-Welle says Obama received a welcome the country “usually reserves for rock stars and soccer players.” Der Spiegel says the candidate displayed the full range of his charisma in a moving speech in which he invoked a transatlantic “shared destiny” and promised to restore U.S.-European relations. In a news analysis, the New York Times says Obama’s speech was vague on diplomatic specifics, but says the emotional response his tour has prompted represents Europe’s hope for a “more flexible, less ideological America.”

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