This weekend, I appeared on TV5 Monde's JT International with Isabelle Malivoir, the channel's global newscast, to discuss the American electoral climate, the Republican primaries, and Obama's foreign policy.
Some major take-away points:
- Americans are deeply concerned about the precarious economic climate. While most Americans approve of Obama the man, a majority believe the country is headed in the wrong direction. This constitutes a challenge for the president.
- For all of its success in driving the Republican primary process to the right, a growing number Americans are skeptical of the Tea Party and anticipate its impact on the Republican Party's electoral prospects to be negative. Its media visibility has not yet translated into the ability to launch a successful presidential candidate.
- Obama has turned the page in US external action and has begun to implement an intelligent and pragmatic strategic shift characterized overall by the following: redefinition of America's relationship with emerging powers (the Arab World, Asia Pacific among them); adapting to -rather than resisting- the tectonic geopolitical movements afoot; adoption of an evolving notion of an American interest and how to pursue it (depending on diverse tools, exercising available levers, and demonstrating caution and restraint in many cases.