It's officially summer, and the GOP presidential campaign is heating up. Tim Pawlenty is planning more stumping in Iowa, Michele Bachmann has now officially entered the race, and multiple potential candidates are waiting in the wings -- preparing to enter the fray if the leading contenders stumble. And though all the pundits have proclaimed that this election will be dominated by talk of the economy and jobs, there has been a surprising amount of foreign-policy chatter in the first few months -- even though the major Republican candidates are still forming their brain trusts and their foreign-policy identities.
So who's whispering in the ear of the front-runners? Who's advising them of the sound position to take for an electorate both war weary and yet concerned about national security? Of the four main candidates right now, only Jon Huntsman can creditably claim to be a foreign-policy expert -- and he's looking like a realist. Mitt Romney is trying to balance his talk of renewed American primacy with his realization that the country is both tired of unlimited interventions and cash-strapped. Pawlenty is staking out his ground as a hawk but doesn't want to be tagged with the neoconservative label. Bachmann is also sounding a hawkish note, taking the mantle from Sarah Palin in pushing the Tea Party's isolationist impulses toward an aggressive national security agenda.
Read the rest of The 2012 Horse Whisperers here:
The Cable goes inside the foreign policy machine, from Foggy Bottom to Turtle Bay, the White House to Embassy Row.