Progressive blogger Matthews Yglesias argues that victory by U.S. Sen. Barack Obama in the presidential race could have been significantly about foreign policy, but won't be.
An important voice in what is sometimes called the progressive blogosphere and now the author of a book about the U.S. Democratic Party's reluctance to constructively address foreign policy, Matthew Yglesias at UCLA on Oct. 30, 2008, argued that this year's presidential election was shaping up as the first meaningful choice between Republican and Democratic ideas on international affairs since the attacks of 9/11. However, he said, a crisis in the financial sector intervened and turned attention to a limping economy. That gives an advantage to Democratic Sen. Barack Obama going into Tuesday's election but also means that foreign policy, while more important today than in election cycles between 1992 and 2000, is not driving voters' decisions.
"It won't really be clear if Obama comes in that he won on a message of a new approach to foreign affairs," said Yglesias, after a summary of U.S. congressional and presidential election strategies since 2002.
Listen to a podcast of Yglesias' presentation, sponsored by the Burkle Center at UCLA.