Foreign Policy President Needed: Any Republicans Qualified?

 

5203873918_7fc7c3833d_zBarack Obama seems too rigid, narrow-minded, and ideologically obsessed with transforming America to learn from his foreign policy failures. As such, I think we can assume that our enemies — China, Russia, Iran, ISIS, and North Korea — have all taken his measure and will aggressively pursue their interests via political/military aggression in the near future.

If that happens, the next president will be handed a mess in foreign policy, as well as a looming debt crisis. (Hillary, recognizing this, is furiously trying to simultaneously distance herself from Obama’s disastrous policies, while emphasizing her experience as Secretary of State; it might work).

Republicans will need a nominee who is credible and well-versed in foreign policy. But is this true of any of them? Rick Perry recently visited China to gain some credibility and experience. Chris Christie, who in the past shrugged off foreign policy questions as inappropriate for a mere governor to comment on, has criticized Obama for ignoring ISIS’ rise. However, I don’t find any of the other possibilities — Jeb Bush, Scott Walker, Bobby Jindal, Nikki Haley, Ted Cruz, or Marco Rubio — are particularly strong in this area (though I’m happy to be corrected).

Given the Republican Party’s habit of nominating the moderate with the greatest seniority, the likely choices in order would be: Mitt Romney (a comeback choice like Richard Nixon in ’68), Jeb Bush, Perry, Christie, Walker, or Jindal, with Nikki Haley as the wild card. Rubio and Cruz strike me as too unseasoned. All these candidates seem to lack foreign policy credentials, though I suspect that Christie’s take-charge style would offer a welcome contrast to Obama’s Hamlet-like dithering. And given that George W. Bush will look better and better as ISIS and Iran advance (and our status in the world steadily diminishes), this could well enhance Jeb’s appeal.

What are your thoughts, Ricochet?

There are 21 comments.

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  1. Western Chauvinist Member
    Western Chauvinist
    @WesternChauvinist

    I think it’s remarkably coincidental that just when the Pax Americana is most threatened (through multiple foreign policy failures of a Democrat president), the Democrats have a former Secretary of State to offer as a candidate. Oh, and she’s a woman!!

    Typical liberal modus operandi: make a giant mess; offer another Democrat solution. The media launders the process: Rinse, repeat.

    The American people are out of their minds. Romney is as close to a statesman as we have to offer, and Hillary currently tops him by double digits in the polls.

    • #1
  2. Larry3435 Member
    Larry3435
    @Larry3435

    Joni Ernst.  The only problem is that by 2016 she will only have two years experience as a U.S. Senator, after serving in the Iowa state legislature.  Who would ever vote for a two-year Senator for President?

    • #2
  3. RushBabe49 Thatcher
    RushBabe49
    @RushBabe49

    What makes you think his foreign policy is a failure?  It is achieving his goal of taking America down a few pegs.

    • #3
  4. user_6236 Member
    user_6236
    @JimChase

    Strikes me as the whole chicken and the egg scenario, to a degree.  How does one gain foreign policy “experience” without a job or a role that offers it / requires it?  Those that have it wouldn’t step anywhere near the idea of running for the presidency.  This is why *most* presidents try to surround themselves with those careerists who have that experience in the trenches.

    If there was a candidate out there that excelled most in the foreign policy arena, I’d have to go with John Bolton.  However, his potential weakness on the domestic issues, and a probable inability to raise funds for a campaign, make him an unlikely candidate.

    Reagan was a student of foreign affairs for years before ascending to the highest office.  Who out there is like that today?

    • #4
  5. C. U. Douglas Thatcher
    C. U. Douglas
    @CUDouglas

    Jim Chase:Strikes me as the whole chicken and the egg scenario, to a degree. How does one gain foreign policy “experience” without a job or a role that offers it / requires it? Those that have it wouldn’t step anywhere near the idea of running for the presidency. This is why *most* presidents try to surround themselves with those careerists who have that experience in the trenches.

    If there was a candidate out there that excelled most in the foreign policy arena, I’d have to go with John Bolton. However, his potential weakness on the domestic issues, and a probable inability to raise funds for a campaign, make him an unlikely candidate.

    Reagan was a student of foreign affairs for years before ascending to the highest office. Who out there is like that today?

    I’m less concerned with personal foreign policy experience than what attitude accompanies a lack of experience. With Barack Obama, you get the impression that he assumed he was going to be great at this, and that with a few of his awesome-in-his-own-mind speeches (that he gifted to the Queen of England on podcast), he’d sway the world. There’s this assumption that he’s the smartest man in the room by him and those closest to him, and they’ve stated as such.

    I want our candidate to be able to note his or her lack of experience in foreign policy and be able to point to who he’ll depend on for the best advice and leadership there. Whoever gets the nomination, he’s got my vote if he nominates John Bolton as Secretary of State. That’s the only man I see with clarity towards the world situation, and who seems to me to be the only one who can bring the State Department under heel (a problem in the last Bush administration).

    • #5
  6. TeamAmerica Member
    TeamAmerica
    @TeamAmerica

    @Jim Chase-“Reagan was a student of foreign affairs for years before ascending to the highest office.  Who out there is like that today?”

    Exactly. Michael Regan once said “there wasn’t a day (when he was a child) that I came home from school that I didn’t see my dad at a desk, reading and studying.”

    AFAIK, the above statement isn’t true of any of our potential nominees, though I hope I’m incorrect.

    • #6
  7. TeamAmerica Member
    TeamAmerica
    @TeamAmerica

    @Western Chauvinist- “The American people are out of their minds. Romney is as close to a statesman as we have to offer, and Hillary currently tops him by double digits in the polls.”

    Yes, it appears that the majority now act like zombies. I think it’s partly that many, lacking strong religious or political beliefs, simply allow their views and priorities to be determined by whatever the media or social media prioritize.

    @RushBabe49- “What makes you think his foreign policy is a failure?  It is achieving his goal of taking America down a few pegs.”

    Sadly, very likely true. I wonder how many of the voters now realize this? Worse, the Republicans lack of a few common platform themes may lose them the chance to win the Senate, even given the world situation.

    • #7
  8. iWc Coolidge
    iWc
    @iWe

    C. U. Douglas: the only one who can bring the State Department under heel (a problem in the last Bush administration).

    Nobody can do this. Nobody can bring any of these agencies under heel. They are all bureaucratic monsters that cannot be managed any more.

    Rumsfeld tried with the Pentagon, remember? He was schooled.

    • #8
  9. iWc Coolidge
    iWc
    @iWe

    I am with Cruz. He is capable, principled, and has superb instincts. People respect or fear him, which is essential.

    • #9
  10. CuriousKevmo Member
    CuriousKevmo
    @CuriousKevmo

    I would think that anyone paying enough attention to actually care about foreign policy would also recognize that “Mrs.” Clinton wasn’t particularly good at it.  In fact, she’s a mess.  I’m pretty sure she’ll be our next President, but I don’t think it will be down to her foreign policy acumen.

    • #10
  11. Proud Skeptic Inactive
    Proud Skeptic
    @ProudSkeptic

    As with almost all presidential candidates, we won’t know how they will do until they get into office.  Hillary will have the best foreign policy chops but I don’t think she would be a good president.  If Romney were elected (long shot) I think he would figure it out pretty quickly.  Actually, I think Christie would too.  Perry might even pull it off.

    I think we would benefit from having a cowboy with a reputation like Reagan in there.   Lots of people thought he would blow everything up within a few weeks.  As it turned out, his love for and faith in the American ideal was his most powerful weapon.  Maybe we should look for that in a candidate.  Hillary sure doesn’t have it.

    • #11
  12. user_494971 Contributor
    user_494971
    @HankRhody

    Why does visiting China once constitute experience, much less complaining about the President?

    Instead of one of the formal debates next primary season, could we videotape the Republican Contenders playing RISK with each other? It’d tell us much more about their ability to think strategically and negotiate than anything they’d say in debate.

    • #12
  13. danoand Inactive
    danoand
    @danoand

    Cruz-Bolton 2016

    • #13
  14. Z in MT Member
    Z in MT
    @ZinMT

    Except for Perry do any of the leading contenders have any military service whatsoever?  Military service is not the be all or end all of foreign policy, but I think it helps to have a Commander in Chief who can at least relate the people who will be put in harm’s way.

    • #14
  15. Seawriter Contributor
    Seawriter
    @Seawriter

    Texas has a long international border.  (A good trick question is to ask for the names of all the states bordering Texas — four are in Mexico.) It involves a lot of international security issues as well as the issue of dealing with a foreign neighbor next door. Plus a lot of international trade goes through the Port of Houston.

    Any Texas governor has to be up to speed on foreign policy and foreign affairs to be a successful Texas governor.  Those who limit their thinking to north of the Rio Grande and south of the US-Canadian border do not do well.  And nowadays, thanks to terrorism, that means understanding defense and military issues.  Perry will do on foreign affairs.

    Seawriter

    • #15
  16. inmateprof Inactive
    inmateprof
    @inmateprof

    As far as foreign policy experience, I guess the only big names we have are John Bolton and Condoleeza Rice; however, I couldn’t really tell you where they stand on taxes, education, or other domestic issues.  We just need a manager that can surround himself/herself with competent people.  You know people that aren’t John Kerry, Susan Rice, Samantha Powers, or those two Gap girls from the State Department.

    • #16
  17. TeamAmerica Member
    TeamAmerica
    @TeamAmerica

    @CuriousKevmo- There is a new tv show that glorifies  a female S. of S, apparently designed to put Hillary in the best possible light.

    • #17
  18. Frozen Chosen Inactive
    Frozen Chosen
    @FrozenChosen

    Hank Rhody:Why does visiting China once constitute experience, much less complaining about the President?

    Instead of one of the formal debates next primary season, could we videotape the Republican Contenders playing RISK with each other? It’d tell us much more about their ability to think strategically and negotiate than anything they’d say in debate.

    Ooh, I like it!  Can I play as well?  I would crush them like grapes – would that mean I’m the GOP nominee?  If so can I campaign from my desk?

    • #18
  19. Frozen Chosen Inactive
    Frozen Chosen
    @FrozenChosen

    Romney had top advisors in 2012 and actually listened to them which is why he was on top of soon-to-be crises like Russia and Mali.  All the GOP needs is someone who will show up to his Intel briefings and not take advice from Valerie Jarrett.  And not be a total wuss like some other very recent POTUS.

    • #19
  20. C. U. Douglas Thatcher
    C. U. Douglas
    @CUDouglas

    Frozen Chosen:Romney had top advisors in 2012 and actually listened to them which is why he was on top of soon-to-be crises like Russia and Mali. All the GOP needs is someone who will show up to his Intel briefings and not take advice from Valerie Jarrett. And not be a total wuss like some other very recent POTUS.

    And the sad thing is: Foresight wasn’t rewarded. Romney correctly saw the foreign policy troubles ahead, and was laughed off the stage by everyone who wanted to believe with all their hearts that Pres. Obama indeed fixed all our problems with regard to foreign policy. He ran on, “I got Osama bin Laden.”

    • #20
  21. MJBubba Inactive
    MJBubba
    @MJBubba

    I thought Jeb sounded reasonably knowledgeable about foreign affairs.   Possibly from all the ports in Florida.

    • #21

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