James M. Lindsay

The Water's Edge

Lindsay analyzes the politics shaping U.S. foreign policy and the sustainability of American power.

The World Next Week: Venezuela Marks the First Anniversary of Chavez’s Death, Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu Visits Washington, and President Obama Releases His FY2015 Budget Plan

by James M. Lindsay Friday, February 28, 2014
Demonstrators protest the Venezuelan government in San Cristobal, about 410 miles southwest of Caracas. (Carlos Garcia/Courtesy Reuters). Demonstrators protest the Venezuelan government in San Cristobal, about 410 miles southwest of Caracas. (Carlos Garcia/Courtesy Reuters).

The World Next Week podcast is up. Bob McMahon and I discussed the first anniversary of Hugo Chavez’s death amid widespread protests in Venezuela, Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s visit to the United States, and Obama’s budget for the 2015 fiscal year. Read more »

The World Next Week: Ukraine Protests Turn Violent, UN Report Condemns North Korea’s Human Rights Record, and the Sochi Olympics Come to a Close

by James M. Lindsay Thursday, February 20, 2014
Anti-government protesters carry logs to build barricades after violence erupted in the Independence Square in Kiev, Ukraine. (Vasily Fedosenko/Courtesy Reuters) Anti-government protesters carry logs to build barricades after violence erupted in the Independence Square in Kiev, Ukraine. (Vasily Fedosenko/Courtesy Reuters)

The World Next Week podcast is up. Bob McMahon and I discussed the escalating conflict in Ukraine, the United States and South Korea’s joint military exercises, and the end of the Sochi Winter Olympics. Read more »

TWE Celebrates Presidents’ Day

by James M. Lindsay Monday, February 17, 2014
President George W. Bush meets with former Presidents and President-elect Obama in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, January 2009. (Kevin Lamarque/courtesy Reuters) President George W. Bush meets with former presidents and President-elect Barack Obama in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, January 2009. (Kevin Lamarque/Courtesy Reuters)

Today is Presidents’ Day. It is a TWE tradition to recognize the forty-three men—and they have all been men—who have been president on Presidents’ Day with the following essay. If you are lucky enough to have today off, enjoy:

American kids often say they want to be president when they grow up.  You have to wonder why. A few presidents have loved the job. Teddy Roosevelt said “No president has ever enjoyed himself as much as I have enjoyed myself.” Most presidents, though, have found the job demanding, perhaps too demanding. James K. Polk pretty much worked himself to exhaustion. Zachary Taylor, the hero of the Mexican-American War, found being president harder than leading men into battle. Dwight Eisenhower had a heart attack from the stress of leading the Free World. Many presidents express relief once they can be called “former president.” This trend started early. John Adams told his wife Abigail that George Washington looked too happy watching him take the oath of office. “Me–thought I heard him say, ‘Ay, I am fairly out and you fairly in! See which of us will be happiest!” Read more »

A Presidents’ Day Quiz

by James M. Lindsay Friday, February 14, 2014
U.S. Navy F/A-18E Super Hornets fly by Mount Rushmore. (Lt. Anthony Dobson/U.S. Navy Handout/Courtesy Reuters) U.S. Navy F/A-18E Super Hornets fly by Mount Rushmore. (Lt. Anthony Dobson/U.S. Navy Handout/Courtesy Reuters)

Monday is Presidents’ Day. To get you in the proper celebratory mood, TWE presents its third annual Presidents’ Day quiz. You can find a link to the answers at the bottom of the post. By all means, if you have your own presidential trivia questions, please post them in the comments section so everyone can take a crack at answering them. And if you are feeling up to it, you can try the quizzes from 2012 and 2013 as well. Read more »

The World Next Week: President Obama Attends the North American Leaders Summit, Iran Nuclear Negotiations Resume, and Kosovo Marks the Sixth Anniversary of Its Independence

by James M. Lindsay Thursday, February 13, 2014
U.S. president Barack Obama and his Mexican counterpart Enrique Pena Nieto shake hands in Mexico City in May 2013. (Mexico Presidency Handout/Courtesy Reuters) U.S. president Barack Obama and his Mexican counterpart Enrique Pena Nieto shake hands in Mexico City in May 2013. (Mexico Presidency Handout/Courtesy Reuters)

The World Next Week podcast is up. Bob McMahon and I discussed President Obama’s trip to the North American Leaders’ Summit in Toluca, Mexico, the continuing negotiations on Iran’s nuclear program, and the sixth anniversary of Kosovo’s independence. Read more »

The World Next Week: Francois Hollande Visits Washington, Egypt Marks the Anniversary of Mubarak’s Ouster, and the Chicago Auto Show Opens

by James M. Lindsay Thursday, February 6, 2014
U.S. president Barack Obama shakes hands with French president Francois Hollande after a meeting in the Oval Office in 2012. (Eric Feferberg/Courtesy Reuters) U.S. president Barack Obama shakes hands with French president Francois Hollande after a meeting in the Oval Office in 2012. (Eric Feferberg/Courtesy Reuters)

The World Next Week podcast is up. Bob McMahon and I discussed French president Francois Hollande’s upcoming visit to Washington, the third anniversary of Hosni Mubarak’s ouster in Egypt, and the Chicago Auto Show. Read more »