Friday, May 4, 2012


After a month of non-stop travel, Potusphere is back!

Yesterday, I was a guest on Radio Africa N°1's Le Grand Débat hosted by Francis Laloupo. Also participating were Jim Cohen, Paris 3; Emmanuel Dupuy, Strategy Consultant; and Pierre Toullec, President of France Friends of the GOP.

The debate was dedicated to the upcoming US elections, now a mere 6 months away. It is still a wide-open contest, with many most recent polls indicating Obama and Romney in a statistical tie, including in some key swing states.

During the 90-minute debate, we touched on a wide range of topics, both domestic and foreign - from the impact of Obama's financial bailout and health care reforms, to the ongoing central importance of the economy in this presidential race and its weight on the American people.

We highlighted the Republican primary field and assessed the brand of conservatism promoted by the all-but-official nominee Mitt Romney, while also addressing the seriousness of his candidacy...Not to forget about the discussion of the social and demographic changes afoot in the US (the emergence of the Millennial generation and its consequences on US politics and leadership).

There was also a short exchange about Obama's foreign policy. I made a few points:
  • Obama presided over a drastic reduction of widespread anti-Americanism that characterized the preceding 8 years by first setting a new tone early in his administration (2009 speech in Cairo) and then successfully deploying a top foreign policy team (led by Hillary Clinton among others) to steadily rebuild the ties with foreign leaders and people
  • The president has chosen to undertake an intelligent reorientation of American foreign policy to accompany the rise of emerging power zones while working to place the US at the epicenter of geopolitical deal- and decision-making and maintain its influence and power of persuasion throughout the world.
  • The impact of some of Obama's decisions might seem ambiguous, and their results not necessarily felt over the course of one or two news cycles. He errs on the side of patience and caution (to a fault, some say), seeking to act to maintain a balance between long-term pursuits and short- and medium-term results.
To hear these points and many more (the debate begins at 9"30):

Click here to listen to the full audio (in French) at Radio Africa N°1