Daniel W. Drezner

Two ways of looking at Mitt Romney’s foreign policy day — part I

Mitt Romney has spent the last day rolling out his approach to international relations. First his list of foreign policy advisors, then his backgrounders to important foreign policy reporters, then his speech at The Citadel, and finally his team’s 43-page white paper. There are two ways to think about Mitt Romney’s foreign policy pronouncements.  The ...

Mitt Romney has spent the last day rolling out his approach to international relations. First his list of foreign policy advisors, then his backgrounders to important foreign policy reporters, then his speech at The Citadel, and finally his team’s 43-page white paper.

There are two ways to think about Mitt Romney’s foreign policy pronouncements.  The first way is to understand the following joke:

Two campers are in the woods. In the morning, as they exit their tent, they see a bear rumbling into their campsite. One of the campers immediately starts putting on his shoes. The other camper turns to him and says, "Are you crazy? Even with your shoes, there’s no way you can outrun that bear."

The first camper stands up with his shoes now on and says, "I don’t have to outrun the bear. I just have to outrun you."

Compared to the other viable GOP candidates to date, Romney is the guy with his shoes on. Sure, he runs awkwardly, and I have little doubt that America’s foreign policy challenges will quickly overwhelm him. Compared to Herman Cain or Rick Perry, however, he’s a friggin’ Olympic sprinter.  Romney has had to think about foreign affairs for a while now, and while I might disagree with some of his musings, they’re at least…. actual musings

As for the other way… well… I’ll get to hat one after I’ve atoned for my sins digested Romney’s white paper sometime this weekend.  

Mitt Romney has spent the last day rolling out his approach to international relations. First his list of foreign policy advisors, then his backgrounders to important foreign policy reporters, then his speech at The Citadel, and finally his team’s 43-page white paper.

There are two ways to think about Mitt Romney’s foreign policy pronouncements.  The first way is to understand the following joke:

Two campers are in the woods. In the morning, as they exit their tent, they see a bear rumbling into their campsite. One of the campers immediately starts putting on his shoes. The other camper turns to him and says, "Are you crazy? Even with your shoes, there’s no way you can outrun that bear."

The first camper stands up with his shoes now on and says, "I don’t have to outrun the bear. I just have to outrun you."

Compared to the other viable GOP candidates to date, Romney is the guy with his shoes on. Sure, he runs awkwardly, and I have little doubt that America’s foreign policy challenges will quickly overwhelm him. Compared to Herman Cain or Rick Perry, however, he’s a friggin’ Olympic sprinter.  Romney has had to think about foreign affairs for a while now, and while I might disagree with some of his musings, they’re at least…. actual musings

As for the other way… well… I’ll get to hat one after I’ve atoned for my sins digested Romney’s white paper sometime this weekend.  

Daniel W. Drezner is a professor of international politics at Tufts University’s Fletcher School. He blogged regularly for Foreign Policy from 2009 to 2014. Twitter: @dandrezner

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