Deputy Editorial Page Editor Jackson Diehl of the Washington Post addresses issues that might be ignored in a discussion of President Obama's foreign policy while in office.
The political writers tell us that President Obama's foreign affairs record will be one of his strengths with voters in the 2012 campaign. The logic is pretty simple; Obama himself summed it up in 11 words at the Pentagon last week: "We've ended our war in Iraq. We've decimated al-Qaeda's leadership."
That may well be enough in a year when foreign policy is a low priority for voters. Of course, there could be unexpected crises; a confrontation with Iran that sends U.S. gasoline prices soaring, for example. But even some foreseeable disasters might not hurt much: Will independents in Ohio or Florida really be swayed if Iraqis go back to slaughtering one another?