James M. Lindsay

The Water's Edge

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

Campaign 2016: Bobby Jindal, GOP Presidential Candidate

by James M. Lindsay Tuesday, June 30, 2015
Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal formally announces his campaign for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal formally announces his campaign for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination in Kenner, Louisiana on June 24, 2015. (Reuters/Jonathan Bachman)

The state of Louisiana has produced more than its share of great athletes, authors, chefs, and musicians. But it has never produced a U.S. president. Current Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal hopes to change that. He announced last week that he is running for president. Jindal is the thirteenth prominent Republican and the fifth former or current governor to toss his hat in the ring. He won’t be the last one, though, on either score. If Jindal makes it to the Oval Office, he will be the first Indian-American president. Read more »

What’s Worth Reading This Summer?

by James M. Lindsay Friday, June 19, 2015
Mobile library by the beach in Tel Aviv People check books at a new mobile library for beach visitors initiated by the Tel Aviv municipality on the shore of the Mediterranean Sea in Tel Aviv July 9, 2013. (Nir Elias/Reuters)

CFR.org editor Bob McMahon and I sat down yesterday to record the annual summer reading episode of CFR’s “The World Next Week” podcast. Our good friend and colleague, Janine Davidson, joined us for the conversation. The discussion was mostly, but not entirely, about books: what we have read, what we plan to read, and what we will take to the beach to read. Read more »

Campaign 2016: Governor Jeb Bush, GOP Presidential Candidate

by James M. Lindsay Tuesday, June 16, 2015
Jeb Bush Kickoff rally Republican U.S. presidential candidate and former Florida Governor Jeb Bush formally announces his campaign for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination during a kickoff rally in Miami, Florida June 15, 2015 (Joe Skipper/Reuters)

We have had two presidents who were the fathers of presidents. We have had a president who was the grandfather of a president. We have even had presidents who were fifth cousins. But we have never had a president who is the brother of a president. John Ellis “Jeb” Bush hopes to be the first. He announced yesterday what has been expected for months: he is running for the GOP presidential nomination. If Jeb Bush does become the first brother of a president elected to the White House, he will likely do so by beating a Democrat in the general election who is seeking to be not just the first woman elected president, but also the first First Lady elected president: Hillary Clinton. So if you like “firsts,” 2016 could be the election for you. Read more »

Birthday Wishes to the United States Army!

by James M. Lindsay Sunday, June 14, 2015
U.S. Army birthday celebration U.S. Amy soldiers walk the Army birthday cake down to be cut at the 2014 Army Ball at the National Harbor in Fort Washington, Maryland, June 21, 2014. (U.S. Army photo by Staff Sgt. Mikki L. Sprenkle)

Doughboy. GI. Grunt. Dogface. Warrior. Whatever term you prefer, if you see an active duty, former, or retired member of the United States Army today, wish their service Happy Birthday. The United States Army just turned 240 years old.

The Army website provides a short but thorough overview of its history. Here are five things worth knowing: Read more »

Campaign 2016: Rick Perry, GOP Presidential Candidate

by James M. Lindsay Friday, June 5, 2015
Perry Foreign Policy Republican presidential candidate and former Texas Governor Rick Perry (C) acknowledges supporters after formally announcing his candidacy for the 2016 Republican nomination for president at an event in Addison, Texas, June 4, 2015. (Mike Stone, Reuters)

Can you get a second chance to make a first impression? Rick Perry hopes so. When the former Texas governor threw his hat into the presidential ring back in 2011, he was a favorite to grab the nomination. But his campaign faltered badly, most famously after a televised GOP primary debate in which he couldn’t remember the name of one of the three federal agencies he had promised to close. The experience didn’t diminish Perry’s confidence in his political skills or his presidential chances. Yesterday he announced that he is again running for the White House. If he is to succeed, he will need to triumph over a GOP field that stands at ten official candidates and counting. With Ted Cruz and Rand Paul already in the race, Perry is the third Republican presidential candidate with ties to the Lone Star State—with one more candidate with Texas ties waiting in the wings. Read more »

Campaign 2016: Senator Lindsey Graham, GOP Presidential Candidate

by James M. Lindsay Tuesday, June 2, 2015
Graham Foreign Policy U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham formally announces his campaign for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination. (Christopher Aluka Berry/Reuters)

Can you win the presidency by running on foreign policy? Lindsey Graham is seeking to find out. The South Carolina senator announced yesterday that he is running for the GOP presidential nomination. His stated his reason for joining the race: “I want to be president to protect our nation that we all love so much from all threats foreign and domestic.” Graham is the ninth candidate to join the GOP race. He won’t be the last. If Graham wins, he’ll be the first bachelor president since Grover Cleveland. Read more »

Campaign 2016: Martin O’Malley, Democratic Presidential Candidate

by James M. Lindsay Monday, June 1, 2015
O'Malley Foreign Policy Former Maryland Governor Martin O'Malley announces his intention to seek the Democratic presidential nomination. (Jim Bourg/Reuters)

When Bill Clinton wrote to a rising Democratic political star back in 2002 that “I won’t be surprised if you go all the way” to the White House, he had no way of knowing that Martin O’Malley would end up throwing his hat into the presidential ring against Hillary Clinton. That’s just what he did on Saturday. Although O’Malley has long been friendly with the Clintons and even endorsed Secretary Clinton’s presidential bid back in 2008 over Barack Obama, he now thinks he’s the man for the job. O’Malley certainly harbors no illusions about his chances. On the eve of his announcement, he told a reporter, “I’m drawn to tough challenges, and this one is certainly a tough challenge.” Relations between O’Malley and Secretary Clinton remain cordial—at least for now. She welcomed him to the race via Twitter, and he tweeted back that he was “eager to engage in a healthy debate about our visions for America.Read more »

Campaign 2016: George Pataki, GOP Presidential Candidate

by James M. Lindsay Friday, May 29, 2015
Pataki Foreign Policy Republican presidential candidate and former New York Governor George Pataki formally announces his candidacy for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination in Exeter, New Hampshire. (Dominick Reuter/Reuters)

Would you come out of retirement and put your record of never having lost an election on the line in a long-shot bid to be president? George Pataki is doing just that. The three-time governor of New York won his first race for political office back in 1981, convincing the citizens of Peekskill, New York to make him their mayor. He then won his next eight elections, rising through New York state politics before finally retiring in 2007 after twelve years as governor. But yesterday, after eight years on the political sidelines, Pataki jumped back into the fray. He announced that he is running for the Republican presidential nomination. Read more »

Campaign 2016: Rick Santorum, GOP Presidential Candidate

by James M. Lindsay Thursday, May 28, 2015
Santorum Foreign Policy Former Senator Rick Santorum formally declares his candidacy for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination. (Aaron Josefczyk/Reuters)

Can the second be first? Rick Santorum certainly hopes so. In 2012, the former Pennsylvania senator finished second to the eventual GOP nominee Mitt Romney. Now Santorum hopes to improve on that surprise performance. Last night he announced he was entering the 2016 presidential campaign, after confirming his candidacy to George Stephanopoulos earlier in the day. Read more »

The Conservative Party’s Surprising Victory Doesn’t Herald a Bolder Britain

by James M. Lindsay Friday, May 8, 2015
Conservatives Win in Britain British Prime Minister David Cameron speaks outside Number 10 Downing Street to announce he will form a new majority government. (Stefan Wermuth/Courtesy Reuters)

The Conservative Party’s surprising victory yesterday has rendered obsolete the orgy of pre-election handwringing about the ineffectiveness of Britain’s impending minority government. But it hasn’t rendered obsolete growing concerns about Britain’s retreat from the world stage. Indeed, it may just intensify them. Read more »