Best Defense

Thomas E. Ricks' daily take on national security.

Obama is on top on foreign policy issues, but unfortunately Americans don’t care

This is the first presidential election in many decades, I think, in which the Democrats have the upper hand in foreign policy and national security. I have only dim memories of the 1964 campaign, but I recalls Lyndon Johnson having an advantage over Barry Goldwater in that area. Hard to remember that now, in light ...

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Wikimedia
Wikimedia

This is the first presidential election in many decades, I think, in which the Democrats have the upper hand in foreign policy and national security. I have only dim memories of the 1964 campaign, but I recalls Lyndon Johnson having an advantage over Barry Goldwater in that area. Hard to remember that now, in light of how badly LBJ handled the Vietnam War in the following four years.

Ironically, Obama is likely only to get a small boost in votes for this, because -- just a bit more than a decade after 9/11 -- Americans frankly don't give a damn about foreign policy, Scarlett. By a 81 to 9 percent margin, they care more about the economy. (Hey, imagine if we still had all the money spent on the Iraq war to spend on domestic infrastructure, which is crumbling…)

This is the first presidential election in many decades, I think, in which the Democrats have the upper hand in foreign policy and national security. I have only dim memories of the 1964 campaign, but I recalls Lyndon Johnson having an advantage over Barry Goldwater in that area. Hard to remember that now, in light of how badly LBJ handled the Vietnam War in the following four years.

Ironically, Obama is likely only to get a small boost in votes for this, because — just a bit more than a decade after 9/11 — Americans frankly don’t give a damn about foreign policy, Scarlett. By a 81 to 9 percent margin, they care more about the economy. (Hey, imagine if we still had all the money spent on the Iraq war to spend on domestic infrastructure, which is crumbling…)

Thomas E. Ricks covered the U.S. military from 1991 to 2008 for the Wall Street Journal and then the Washington Post. He can be reached at ricksblogcomment@gmail.com. Twitter: @tomricks1

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