FOREIGN POLICY NEOPHYTES
With a continuing war in Iraq, a never ending struggle to secure Afghanistan, a looming clash with Iran and the on going “war on terror”, conventional wisdom would have us believe that Americans would be yearning for a candidate with strong credentials in foreign policy. However poll after poll – on both sides of the aisle – have shown voters’ support for foreign policy/military affairs neophytes.
The democrats have Hilary Clinton trying to pass her husbands successes as her own: they have Barack Obama arguing that the time he spent out of the country (ages 6-10) was foreign policy experience, and John Edwards barely mentions foreign policy issues This while foreign policy heavyweights Bill Richardson (former U.S. ambassador to U.N. and negotiator); Joe Biden (long time Senator and leader of Foreign Affairs committee, who has one of the most detailed plans for dealing with the Iraqi situation) and Chris Dodd, languish in the poll basement.
On the Republican side you have a man who has tried to use his admirable response to 9/11 (domestic), to overcome his paltry foreign policy credentials. Then there is Romney who relies on blaster as his only credential (seriously: “double the size of Guantanamo”) and former Arkansas governor, who rarely mentions foreign policy, except may be for the Jihadists. This while John McCain (Vietnam vet, former chairman of Senate Armed Services and supporter of the Iraq surge) and Duncan Hunter (former marine and head of the House Armed Services committee) can’t get any poll love.
In an election dominated by matters of national security, it boggles the mind when those with the greatest experience in such matters are totally discounted. Wonders never cease.