September 21, 2015
By Tom Rogan
The early primary debates are great entertainment. With a sprinkling of [Donald] Trump, we look for the candidates to come off script. We look for animosity — both personal and political — that distinguishes the candidates from one another. We look for charisma and moments of inspiration. But, ultimately, we’re looking for entertainment. Still, we must remember that presidential primary debates exist for more than our amusement. Illuminating a candidate’s character and variable responses to pressure, debates inform America’s democratic choices.
Debates also matter for U.S. national security: Foreign-government officials are watching the debates, too. Working through diplomats, spies, and analysts, they are assessing who might win the GOP nomination and what that victory might mean for U.S. foreign policy come 2017. In turn, as President Obama’s term winds down, foreign governments will increasingly make policy in consideration of his likely successor.
And that means that Republican presidential candidates need to be confident on foreign-policy issues. Last week’s debate proved why this is easier said than done. After all, two candidates dominated the foreign-policy proceedings at the CNN debate: Carly Fiorina and Marco Rubio. Unfortunately, only one prospective president was up to speed.
Read the full article at National Review Online: Fiorina Could Learn from Rubio on Foreign Policy