Sunday, October 23, 2011

troops out of Iraq!

There’s little question that between the Arab Spring, the killing of bin Laden, the death of deposed Libyan dictator Moammar Gaddafi and now the news of the withdrawal of American troops in Iraq that this has been a momentous year in American foreign policy. And yet, the a recent Gallup poll showed just 2 percent of people thought terrorism was the most important issue facing the country, while anounce 2 percent said war was the most important. By contrast, the economy and unemployment were each above 30 percent.

While those numbers make clear that foreign policy will be on the backburner heading into 2012, it doesn’t mean that Obama’s successes internationally don’t matter. They do. Or at least might. They play into the idea of Obama as leader — as someone who can stand on the world stage and effectively represent the United States’ interests.

To be clear, Republicans are not likely to be swayed into supporting Obama by these successes. But independents who tend to vote less on a single issue — or issues — than on a general feel toward the individuals running for president may be.

Republican reaction?: In the immediate aftermath of President Obama’s withdrawal announcement there was broad silence among the 2012 Republican contenders.

It seems likely that Republicans will seek to acknowledge the end of the war, offer as little public credit to Obama as possible and then return to talking about the economy.

But, politics is unpredictable. If Republican candidates — or the Republican base — decide to take issue with the pull-out then the issue could take a far different course in the primary fight to come.

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