Wednesday, April 04, 2012

What do Recent Important Presidential Election Endorsements Tell Us?



There have been some important endorsements in the Presidential election these past two weeks. Mitt Romney, the Republican frontrunner, was endorsed by former President George H. W. Bush and Wisconsin Congressman Paul Ryan. President Obama was endorsed for re-election by Russian President and Putin water boy Dmitry Medvedev.

That is not too unfair a characterization of Medvedev's attack on Mitt Romney after Governor Romney reacted to the now infamous "open mike" gaffe of President Obama. Governor Romney criticized President Obama, stating that the President should understand that "Russia is not a friendly character on the world stage" and "is without question our number one geopolitical foe." The Governor's remarks were a sober and reasonable assessment of the leading role that Russia has played in opposing U.S. efforts to stop the Assad regime in Syria from murdering its citizens and to reign in the Iranian nuclear weapons program. President Medvedev angrily responded that Governor Romney's remarks "smelled of Hollywood."

President Obama was overheard telling President Medvedev to carry a message back to Russian President-elect Vladimir Putin. President Obama said, "On all these issues, but particularly missile defence, this can be solved, but it's important for him to give me space. ... This is my last election. After my election, I have more flexibility."

For those who would make little of the implications of President Obama's plea on the prospects for United States foreign policy during a second Obama term in office, I recommend this column by Charles Krauthammer. As Mr. Krauthammer drily observes, "You don’t often hear an American president secretly (he thinks) assuring foreign leaders that concessions are coming their way, but they must wait because he’s seeking re-election and he dare not tell his own people."

I hope that all of the recent endorsements make a deep impression on American voters.

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