Today, Politico reported that Mitt Romney is considering a globe-trotting foreign-policy tour. His foreign-policy advisers have been trashing him in the media for not focusing on their topic enough in the campaign, and the only explanation I can come up with is that he’s doing this to get them off his back. It’s still a dumb idea.
First, voters are overwhelmingly focused on the economy in this election, for understandable reasons. Second, even if he made voters care more about foreign policy, they like President Obama’s, by and large.
I break-down his proposed trip further over at Steve Walt’s blog on ForeignPolicy.com. Whoever suggested (unsuccessfully, apparently) that he stop off in Afghanistan was slapped down. In that case,
it seems the Romney people have realized that Bill Kristol’s suggestion, that he “go and look serious,” is absurd. Going there at all is a huge loser. It’s a zero-sum tradeoff between saying things the public will like and saying things Kristol and his foreign-policy team will like. The public loathes the war, but the Kristol and the Romney foreign-policy staffers like it a lot. So if he went and said anything the public wants to hear – like that he wants America to leave soon – he’d get trashed in the media by his foreign-policy team again. And if he gave a sop to his foreign-policy team, the public would worry he’s Bush redux. So they’re smart to stay away from Kabul.
Read the rest here.