Foreign policy on the table

Uncertainty in the global arena favors Clinton and McCain.

us special 2 224 (photo credit: )
us special 2 224
(photo credit: )
Democrats: Bill Richardson, Joe Biden, Christopher Dodds, John Edwards, Barak Obama, Hillary Clinton... Republicans: Mike Huckabee, Mitt Romney, Rudy Guiliani, John McCain, Duncan Hunter, Fred Thompson. These are names often mentioned during the run-up to the primaries. Most will be forgotten in this race for the presidency in just a few weeks. Elections in the US have always been hard to predict - and more so now, as there are many "firsts" in this election: first woman, first Black, first Mormon, not to mention the fact that this is the first time since 1928 that there is no incumbent President or Vice President in the running. Statistics are against a member of Congress, whether Senator or Member of the House, winning the general elections. The last time this happened was 48 years ago with the election of John F. Kennedy. Also historically, American elections have been won on the domestic issues (remember, "it's the economy, stupid"). 9/11 changed all that and security and foreign policy issues moved to the forefront in the minds of the Americans. The war in Iraq, the upheaval and uncertainty in the international arena, favors a candidate with greater experience in international affairs, such as Senator McCain on the Republican side, and Hillary Clinton on the Democratic side. The assassination of Benazir Bhutto is a painful reminder of the danger of terror of radical Islam. This may favor candidates who are perceived as having tested leadership abilities, especially Mayor Rudy Guiliani. The coming years will be crucial for world stability. The person who will occupy the oval office in the next four or eight years will have an enormous effect on global affairs, especially regarding security in the Middle East and Israeli-Arab relations. Naturally, Israelis, Jews and Americans concerned for Israel's safety will be examining the candidates' philosophy and attitude toward Israel. Giuliani, McCain, Clinton and Richardson have demonstrated their support for Israel. The remaining candidates are utilizing the expected rhetoric of campaign talking points and are yet untested. As the campaign heats up, serious questions should be answered by the candidates.