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Washington Post: Foreign Policy’s Moment in Campaign 2012

Author: Dan Balz
September 13, 2012


The 2012 presidential campaign has provided a number of flash points, none so great as the recent furor over events in the Middle East.

Campaign 2012 has produced plenty of flash points, some real and some manufactured.

Few have hit with as much fury, outrage, second-guessing and doubling down as the clash between Mitt Romney and President Obama over the terrible events in the Middle East that left four Americans dead, including U.S. Ambassador to Libya J. Christopher Stevens.

The haste with which Romney responded late Tuesday to the chaotic and unfolding events in Egypt and Libya spoke to a candidate who appeared overly eager to assert himself at a time when the election narrative had turned against him in the wake of the two political conventions.

How much his initial statement condemning the administration for sympathizing with anti-American interests in the Muslim world was motivated by political need rather than full comprehension of the events may never be known. Romney saw an opportunity and seized it.

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