At first glance, the differences between the two candidates for president of the United States in 2012, President Barack Obama and Governor Mitt Romney, are striking. Each candidate is doing his best to emphasise these differences. Most commentators have drawn sharp distinctions between the two candidates on foreign policy. Global perceptions of the two men are also noticeably different: most of the Western world wants Obama to win.
The argument of this Analysis, however, is that when it comes to foreign policy, the similarities between the two men are more striking than the differences. President Obama is not as left-wing and dovish as many believe, and Governor Romney is not as right-wing and hawkish as he would have us believe. Americans face an important choice on 6 November. Their decision will be felt here in Australia. But the world is not at a crossroads.
- When it comes to foreign policy, the similarities between President Barack Obama and Republican candidate Governor Mitt Romney are more striking than their differences.
- Obama is not as left-wing and dovish as many believe, and Romney is not as right-wing and hawkish as he would have us believe.
- In particular, on issues that matter to Australia, such as the alliance, policy towards China and America’s ‘pivot’ to Asia, there are strong continuities between the two candidates.
[The recent Senate Foreign Relations Committee report on Russian meddling] is a thorough and comprehensive view of Russia’s decades-long political warfare against the West. The lesson learned from Europe, which has borne the brunt of Russian attacks, is that Russia can be deterred but that requires leadership. For that reason, this report would have sent a much stronger message to the Trump administration if it had Republican support. As is, it is an urgent warning and a call to action, but it may fall on deaf ears.
It’s the first time, maybe in history, key advisers have gone into the administration to stop the president, not to enable him.