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Iran Mitt-Smiling

Published on October 24th, 2012 | by Jasmin Ramsey

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Who’s the war candidate?

Robert Wright points out why a first-term President Mitt Romney would be more susceptible to hardline pressure on Iran than a second-term President Barack Obama:

Second-term presidents think legacy, and nothing says legacy like peacefully and enduringly solving a problem that’s been depicted as apocalyptic. So expect Obama to pursue serious negotiations with Iran (which he hasn’t really done yet) if he wins the election. And he’ll be able to pursue them liberated from concerns about re-election, which means he can largely ignore blowback from Bibi Netanyahu, AIPAC, and other elements of the Israel lobby. That sort of freedom is important if he wants to bargain seriously with Iran.

Any first-term president who hopes for re-election (that is, any first-term president) is mindful of lobbies, whether the sugar lobby, the Cuba lobby, or the Israel lobby. So any new president would likely have a harder time peacefully solving the Iran problem than a second-term President Obama. But for Romney this disadvantage is compounded by two factors.

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About the Author

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Jasmin Ramsey is an Iranian-born journalist based in Washington, DC.



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  • Named after veteran journalist Jim Lobe, LobeLog provides daily expert perspectives on US foreign policy toward the Middle East through investigative reports and analyses from Washington to Tehran and beyond. It became the first weblog to receive the Arthur Ross Award for Distinguished Reporting and Analysis of Foreign Affairs from the American Academy of Diplomacy in 2015.

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