Symmetry wrote:By soft power I mean those elements of American power that don't necessarily involve military engagement. It's more nebulous than military intervention, but involves diplomacy, economic ties, and cultural expansion.
Experience wise I think Obama has the edge now- four years as commander in chief kind of trumps governor of Massachusetts and business experience at Bain Capital when it comes to foreign policy experience.
The old trope of a neophyte congressman Obama doesn't really play out. Romney is the neophyte on foreign policy now. I can understand why someone would see him as strong domestically, but abroad he's seen as weak and easily manipulated.
His recent foreign visits kind of cemented that view. In the UK he was seen as a bit of an ass, and the current Israeli government seem to see him as a pawn.
These are not the seeds of a strong foreign policy.
Well, yeah (on Obama vs. Romney foreign policy now). I would trust Obama more than Romney with foreign policy, but only if there was some difference between Obama foreign policy and Bush foreign policy. Since there isn't, I don't.
As for soft power, I can't agree. The last four years have seen the continued the prosecution of two wars without any de-escalation. Additionally, President Obama ordered strikes on other countries in the Middle East.
I tend to think, however, that a President McCain would have done more than that; but soft diplomacy is not the phrase I would use for President Obama.