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Barack 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?