Most Americans Want Presidential Dialogue With Foes

Just as Sen. John McCain once again went after Sen. Barack Obama for his willingness to engage Iran and other members of the axis of evil — before AIPAC’s annual policy conference here, no less — the Gallup organization, as I noted in my IPS story today, released the results of a new poll on precisely that question. It appears that most Americans, at least at the moment, support Obama’s position on the issue. The results can be found here.

Jim Lobe

Jim Lobe served for some 30 years as the Washington DC bureau chief for Inter Press Service and is best known for his coverage of U.S. foreign policy and the influence of the neoconservative movement.



  1. It is a mistake, especially for a very powerful states to build its foreign policy around a concept of a list of good guys vs. a list of bad guys. There should be no formal or implied promise to support any foreign state against any other.

    It was Britain’s secret agreement with France that insured that what should have been localized fracas in 1914 resulted in two world wars.

    A powerful state should endeavor to maintain correct one-on-one relations with each and every independent state and support our own mutual interest in a positive relationship with each state. We should not compromise our own interest by catering to either side in disputes among other states.

    It was the willingness of Britain and France supported by American public opinion that drove Italy and Spain to join Germany in the 1930’s.

  2. Not only do most Americans agree with Obama’s diplomatic view, but they also agree with his divestment position which McCain once opposed but stole in his AIPAC speech.

    John McCain thinks you are looking the other way.

  3. It’s too bad that public opinion in the US doesn’t matter much. Though public may agree with Obama on most issues, the Republican PR machine has learned over many years (decades) how to turn public support for Democratic positions into public antipathy towards those same policies. Talking to Iran is “surrendering” and “weak” – even though the Bush administration is already doing through back channels. And universal health care coverage is “socialized medicine” reminiscent of the Soviet regime.

    Unfortunately, until the Democrats learn to utilize public relations as well as Republicans, there is no chance of Democrats winning the hearts and minds of the American people.

  4. Don’t get your hopes high. Obama will be just ANOTHER FACE in the White House. I doubt very much he sticks to his promise of change, as he has shifted away from his original tone over the past several months. Remember Clintons and their idea of Hope? Now they are in the pocket of big corporations!

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