Not Just the Economy, Stupid

It’s the economy, stupid. So goes the conventional wisdom about Presidential elections anyway. The theory is that domestic politics – and the economy in particular – trumps everything else, including matters of foreign relations. Are you better off than you were four years ago? If not, little else matters. It was most notably the case […]

Unfulfilled Expectations

As we all know there are lies, damn lies and statistics.  Nevertheless, for historians interested in public opinion, this week’s Pew Global Attitudes Survey on international views of the United States makes for interesting – if not necessarily surprising – reading. [1] On the positive side, in twelve of the twenty countries polled, a plurality […]

A New Cold War at the Water’s Edge?

An essential rule for politicians: always make sure the microphone is off.  On March 26 at the Nuclear Security Summit in Seoul, Barack Obama was overheard discussing missile defence with Russian President Dmitri Medvedev. With an open mic, Obama told Medvedev “This is my last election. After my election I have more flexibility.”[1] Russia currently […]