Will President Obama's foreign policy successes help him in 2012?
October 25th, 2011
05:00 PM ET

Will President Obama's foreign policy successes help him in 2012?

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

President Obama may face an uphill battle for re-election... but one area where he can boast about success is foreign policy.

And that's something new for Democrats.

Since the Vietnam war, Democratic candidates for president have been labeled as being soft and inexperienced on military and foreign policy issues.

Think John Kerry getting swift boated, Jimmy Carter and the Iran hostage crisis... or Michael Dukakis and that tank.

But not President Obama.

He's presided over the killings of Osama bin Laden and American-born Anwar Al-Awlaki... although it's worth pointing out not everyone thinks the assassination of a U.S. citizen was legal or a good idea.

U.S. support in Libya also led to the toppling of Moammar Gadhafi.

As for the two wars, Mr. Obama is drawing down troops in Afghanistan following an earlier surge.

And, he's taking credit now for "ending the war in Iraq"– even though George Bush really ended the war there in 2008 and we are being kicked out of the country by the Iraqi government.

Nonetheless - despite these successes overseas, it's not clear if foreign policy victories will help the president win a second term.

If unemployment stays at 9% ... it very well may be all about the economy, stupid.

A recent CNN/ORC poll shows that foreign policy is not a top issue on most Americans' minds these days.

Only 23% of those polled say foreign policy is extremely important to their vote for president.

Compare that to 54% who cite the economy. And most other issues rank higher than foreign policy too - including unemployment, the deficit, health care, Social Security, Medicare, Terrorism, Taxes and the size of government.

Here’s my question to you: Will President Obama’s foreign policy successes help him in 2012?

Tune in to the Situation Room at 5pm to see if Jack reads your answer on air.

And, we love to know where you’re writing from, so please include your city and state with your comment.

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

David in Virginia:
I doubt it. He let the war in Iraq end according to the Bush agreement but could not negotiate an agreement which would protect our gains. Egypt is in some murky state of anarchy, Libya lost at least 30,000 people due to a prolonged insurgency and may wind hosting the largest advanced weapons flea market in the world, Pakistan is on the verge of telling us to take a hike, and Afghanistan has all but said that in a pinch they would side with Pakistan against us. Not exactly Nobel Peace Prize material, eh? Oooops.

Russ in Pennsylvania:
This seems to be one of the key problems in America these days: assassinating an American citizen in Yemen without due process... is seen as a good thing by both parties. Or that attacking Libya without Congressional approval is also seen as a success. What about the rule of law?... Shouldn't we be asking that our leaders be held accountable for such acts? Or does American "exceptionalism" now mean that our leaders and country are above such values? Ron Paul in 2012... There is no other correct answer.

Harold on Facebook:
They are worthy accomplishments to everyone but those on the Right. Will they make the difference in the election? I doubt it. The economy…will determine the outcome.

How is continuing Bush's foreign policy a success? I voted for Obama in 2008, but it is precisely because of his foreign policy (Bush-lite), that I will not vote for him in 2012. The idea that Obama is making good on a campaign promise by bringing the troops home from Iraq, three years after being in office, is a joke. Bush set the 12/31/11 date in the Security of Forces Agreement (SOFA) signed in 2008. The truth is that if the Iraqis would ask us publicly to stay, the troops wouldn't be coming home.

It can't hurt, but it isn't enough to trump the economy. The best thing going for Obama politically is the lunatic behavior of the Republicans in Congress and the Republican candidates. The debates are the best reality show on television.

soundoff (121 Responses)
  1. Dave - Phx

    Yes, that and the fact that the current group of republican candidates cannot even talk to their own constiuents intellegently and honestly, let alone other foreign countries.

    October 25, 2011 at 12:59 pm |
  2. mare

    OF COURSE. It is the one area the GOP with their traitorous Norquist pledge has not been able to obstruct.

    October 25, 2011 at 1:07 pm |
  3. Jim


    It certainly should! But in the grand political scheme of things, it is sure to take a distant back seat to the economy. That's just how it is. The good news is that with the current Republican Snow-White-and-the-Seven-Dwarfs slate of potential presidential candidates, Obama could probably campaign on the fact that he quit smoking and still win.

    Reno, Nevada

    October 25, 2011 at 1:09 pm |
  4. Frances

    Well it should. It shows his leadership abilities and intelligence. Of course the Republican tea party of NO will not give him any credit, they will disparage anything good he does.

    He is doing everything he can to fix our broken economy. Broken during the Bush/Cheney administration. A little help from the GOP tea party couldn't hurt.

    October 25, 2011 at 1:10 pm |
  5. Jk from Minnesota

    It can't hurt. That's something Congress hasn't been able to foul up for him.

    October 25, 2011 at 1:13 pm |
  6. Doug

    Obamas successes are far out-weiged by his failures, but he holds the ace in the hole, and that is, Romney winning the Republican nomination. Doug. Pepperell, MA.

    October 25, 2011 at 1:18 pm |
  7. Kevin in CA

    Nope ... reference George H. Bush. After all, "it's the economy stupid".

    October 25, 2011 at 1:20 pm |
  8. Scott Castro

    How is continuing Bush's foreign policy a success? I voted for Obama in 2008, primarily because of his alleged foreign policy, and it is precisely because of his actual foreign policy (Bush-lite), that I will not vote for him or any other mainstream candidate in 2012. The idea that Obama is making good on a campaign promise by bringing the troops home from Iraq, three years after being in office, is a joke. Bush set the 12/31/11 date in the Security of Forces Agreement (SOFA) signed in 2008. The truth is that if the Iraqi's would ask us publicly to stay, the troops wouldn't be coming home.

    October 25, 2011 at 1:21 pm |
  9. Russ in PA

    This seems to be one of the key problems in America these days, that assassinating an American citizen in Yemen without due process – and even treason demands due process – is seen as a good thing by both parties. Or that attacking Libya without Congressional approval is also seen as a success. What about the rule of law? Or are both parties and many Americans willing to forsake such a key foundation nowadays? Shouldn't we be asking that our leaders be held accountable for such acts? Or does American "exceptionalism" now mean that our leaders and country are above such values?

    Ron Paul in 2012... There is no other correct answer.

    October 25, 2011 at 1:29 pm |
  10. Jayne in NH

    His mastery of foreign policy should help him, but it won't. After Gaddafy's demise, Republican legislators were carping because it had taken too long . . . 700 days. These same Republican Senators also complain that we're leaving Iraq too soon! 10 years and nearly 5,000 dead American soldiers and they want more! It's odd, actually. We expected Obama would be great on domestic policy and lousy on foreign policy, but the opposite is true. I believe that is because the president can act independently on many foreign policy actions while domestic programs must get past the filibustering Republicans.

    October 25, 2011 at 1:32 pm |
  11. David of Alexandria VA

    I doubt it. In the net, he let the war in Iraq end according to the Bush agreement but could not negotiate a SOFA which would protect our gains. Egypt is in some murky state of anarchy, Libya lost about 40,000 people due to a prolonged insurgency and may wind hosting the largest advanced weapons flea market in the world, Pakistan is on the verge of telling us to take a hike, and Afghanistan has all but said that in a pinch they would side with Pakistan against us. Not exactly Nobel Peace Prize material, eh? Oooops.

    October 25, 2011 at 1:33 pm |
  12. david sencades

    I still dont see success in dumping $Billions into new corrupt 3rd world that still conspiresto hustle u.s.govt officials and intimidate them withpotential threats if they dont keep payiing strangers,so some will seem friendly...

    October 25, 2011 at 1:47 pm |
  13. Virginia - Atlanta, GA

    It should, it should also reveal the hypocrisy of the right wing.

    October 25, 2011 at 1:48 pm |
  14. Annie, Atlanta

    Not if the Republicans keeping mugging for the media cameras, attacking him for something they couldn't accomplish. Why is it the right gets to control the messaging by at least a 3-1 margin? Is it because our media is now corporate owned, and the almighty dollar trumps all?

    October 25, 2011 at 1:48 pm |
  15. Noel Sivertson Roswell New Mexico.

    It can't hurt, but it isn't enough to trump the economy.

    The best thing going for Obama politically is the lunatic behavior of the Republicans in congress and the Republican candidates. The debates are the best reality show on television.

    October 25, 2011 at 1:50 pm |
  16. Pat in Michigan

    I doubt it! It is humorous to see the right criticizing the current Administration fullfilling an agreement signed byPresident Bush who started this war in the first place and on a timeline he chose and agreed to.I realize some strategies have changed .i.e. Irans play, but we wil just get into a war with Iran next anyway. no one is kidding anyone here!

    October 25, 2011 at 1:52 pm |
  17. Rex in Portland, Oregon

    Of course his successes will help.

    Already we see virtually all of the republican candidates for president praising his "astonishing failures". We hear all of the pundits effusively proclaiming minor victories over Al Qaeda and other terrorists. We see his democrat associates avoiding traveling hither and yon touting his model as 'near perfect'. Well, he (Obama) didn't do as well as McCain would have .. . ., and Romney was somewhat critical. . . ., O'Reilly was o'reilly. . . . but all in all his enemies and his friends have been . . . . . well . . . . surely there is someone somewhere that thinks he done good!

    Whatever Obama does, or however what he does turns out, it is and will be branded "bad" by the press, the media, the republicans, and now his own party. Did you forget he's an intellectual?

    October 25, 2011 at 1:57 pm |
  18. james in greenville, north carolina

    Sure it will. The Obama controlled media is making him out to be the greatest military commander since General Patton. But as the election gets closer the economy will be the main issue. The middle east is a long way from main street. I wish those in the middle east all the best but I am more worried about us folks down on the farm.

    October 25, 2011 at 1:58 pm |
  19. s in fl

    Not if we can keep the subject changed. (Wink, wink)

    October 25, 2011 at 1:59 pm |
  20. John from Alabama

    Jack: They will help, but a falling unemployment rate woulld be nice. President Obama has run up against a Republican controlled Congress, which has decided to do nothing this next 14 months to provide help to create or save jobs. President Obama will be applauded for his foreign policies which have led to the death of several terrorist, and the down fall of several dictators in the middle east. We are leaving Iraq and will eventually will leave Afghanistan

    October 25, 2011 at 2:04 pm |
  21. Rick McDaniel

    Not at all. Most of that was already in place, before Obama even took office, and all he really did is give the go ahead......after a lot of people twisted his arm to get the go ahead, I'm sure.

    October 25, 2011 at 2:05 pm |
  22. Dennis north carolina

    Obama's foreign are credits in his favor but this alone will not get him re-elected. I feel the republicans have done more to get Obama elected and the media has also helped. Back lash on the negative actions of the media and the republicans will help him. the public have realize that their actions in the 2010 elections have caused more problems than help!

    October 25, 2011 at 2:05 pm |
  23. Bert from L.A.

    Jack, they say “safety first” and although the world is safer now then we were four years ago it is still “The economy stupid” that drives elections. That said, people would have to be pretty stupid to vote for the same old Big Lie that tax cuts for the rich and corporations creates jobs. Obama can't be blamed for Reaganomics which siphoned off our middle class wealth to a global corporate economy.

    October 25, 2011 at 2:12 pm |
  24. john/omaha

    plan? he had a plan?

    October 25, 2011 at 2:29 pm |
  25. Kelly Ontario, Canada

    Nope...it'll be because he is the only one who is trying to work things out for the American people. The fact that he has had the success of getting those who have threatened us without having to wage dangerous wars is just a bonus!!

    October 25, 2011 at 2:31 pm |
  26. Ken Victoria BC

    Yes, Mr. Obama will benefit from foreign policies. Unlike Mr. Bush, he is respected in many other countries. The policies of GOP candidates are against world opinion.

    October 25, 2011 at 2:34 pm |
  27. chris

    nope cause we will remember the economy and all the bailouts he did and of course obamacare some 2,500-3,000 bill they did not read before passing it or let us comment or have a say so he can succeed on foreign policy but the we care and more concerned with what is going on here

    October 25, 2011 at 2:39 pm |
  28. Kenneth in California

    The way it is going jobs will be the big issue. Unemployment, and fear of it for those working, will be front and center in the minds of most. Too many have no economic peace of mind, and there is no room in their heads for what is going on in the rest of the world.
    The Republican's unwillingness to create jobs, has become a Democratic speech writers dream material. That is the issue that will decide the Presidency, not foreign policy.

    October 25, 2011 at 2:41 pm |
  29. Paulette in Dallas

    Yes, a little but the economy is the Big Issue.

    October 25, 2011 at 2:46 pm |
  30. Rich McKinney, Texas

    No I don't think so Jack. America will be voting on jobs and the economy in America not jobs and the economy in Libya, Afghanistan, Israel and Afghanistan. People are looking at what is going on in America not overseas. They do not have a vote overseas. Their vote is right here in America. You know, the place that really maters the most to them and the place Obama is running for a 2nd term..

    October 25, 2011 at 2:56 pm |
  31. Larry from Georgetown, Tx

    Nope, the main issue is the economy. His only chance is to ask Hillary to run for President in 2012 and retire to the speaker circuit and write books. He's history and I believe he knows it.

    October 25, 2011 at 2:59 pm |

    tampa, fl what successes? all he has done is push more free trade agreement (more usa jobs lost) and ordered hits on people he didn't like. being judge, jury, and executioner while passing his own laws should lead to impeachment, not re-election. he did manage to export guns, but we are being kept in the dark on how well that worked out.

    October 25, 2011 at 3:02 pm |
  33. Bizz, Quarryville Pennsylvania

    The wars are a very important thing to me because I have two grandsons that are in the military. One is a marine that thank God came home from Afghanistan to his family in one piece. I like the way president Obama is handling things especially bring our troops home from a war they should never have been in. I blame the collapse of the economy on President Bush because it was on his watch the economy collaped. The republicans seem too war hungry for me and I'm afraid they will quickly without much thought invade a country like Iran.

    October 25, 2011 at 3:05 pm |
  34. Fay in Abilene Tx

    Ironically,the returning Iraq war vets coming back home to joblessness may shine a spotlight even more on a lousy economy.

    October 25, 2011 at 3:10 pm |
  35. wayne, va beach, va

    I dont believe any of his policies will help him, foreign or otherwise.

    October 25, 2011 at 3:14 pm |
  36. Joe Ft Walton Bch Fl

    Yes his foreign policy successes will help him in 2012. That if he kills him one well known terrorist every day.

    October 25, 2011 at 3:19 pm |
  37. Olga Pina

    of course!

    instead of 'remember the alamo', I say, 'remember George W. Bush', and 'Remember Carl Rove', and 'Remember Rick Perry'...

    Besides, Rick Perry's 'flat tax' is as flat as his campaign rhetoric. At least we know who President Obama is...we don't know what we'll get with Rick Perry, if only hilarious debates between him and Obama!

    October 25, 2011 at 3:31 pm |
  38. Loren

    What successes? You assume that the President is responsible for certain favorable outcomes in foreign events. The bottom line is that those who support the President will view them as important and those that don't will find reasons it's not his success. Truth of the matter is that regardless of what has happened in foreign policy, it is heavily outweighed by the domestic chaos.

    October 25, 2011 at 3:33 pm |
  39. Cy Gardner

    If you corporate hacks in the mainstream media would give him the credit he deserves instead of moving quickly along to each of the latest smears levied by the attention-needy GOP presidential candidates or the stupid birther garbage or whatever else the assignment editor at Fox thinks the national debate should be about, then maybe people would realize what an improvement his is over war profiteers like Cheney. Jack, if people don't "get it", it is possibly because you won't give it to them. - Cy Arlington, VA

    October 25, 2011 at 3:36 pm |
  40. Tom (Atlanta)

    The President has not demonstrated an aptitude for negotiating with whom he does not share the same. This can be seen in both his domestic governance and in implementation of foreign policy and relations. I believe that this has left him with few friends and/or allies having influence necessary to implement his ideas or even pieces of his ideas. I don't believe the world will call our relations with Israel, Iraq, Iran, Egypt Afghanistan, and Pakistan US foreign policy successes; rather, examples of our shrinking influence internationally. When we do have favorable result attributable to foreign policy because of track record I believe the rest of the world now views it as the "blind squirrel finding a nut".

    October 25, 2011 at 3:42 pm |
  41. Cy Gardner

    The Republican candidates may be able to avoid the topic during their debates, but when one of them has to stand across from the man who killed bin Laden, they won't be able to duck... either. Cy from Arlington, VA

    October 25, 2011 at 3:50 pm |
  42. AB

    Get your facts straight Jack!! First of all, George W. Bush started the war in Iraq in 2003 and did not end it.. The war continued after 2008 and was eventually ended by Barack Obama in 2011. Furthermore, We chose to leave Iraq since the Iraqis will not grant criminal prosecution immunity to American miilitary personnel. Second of all, Obama deserves credit for the foriegn policy successes overseas and will get that credit. However, an improved economy and a revitalized workforce will help Obama in 2012.

    October 25, 2011 at 3:52 pm |
  43. pat, Idaho

    Anybody can get on a phone and say–"ok"–we know where he is, Shoot or blow him up, I could probably do that, but it sure as hell wouldn't make me a president. We should have been out of Iraq years ago and we should be out of Afganistan now. None of what he's done in the name of president of the United States hasn't done much to help solve the unemployment or to help the economy.

    October 25, 2011 at 3:55 pm |
  44. Tom Bulger, Canandaigua, NY

    Presidential elections are won by percentages much smaller than 23. America is back in the world's good books. That counts for plenty with anyone who values respect, or travels, or trades abroad.

    October 25, 2011 at 3:55 pm |
  45. Michael Bindner, Alexandria, VA

    It won't help him with people who simply hate him, but it can't hurt with security conscious independents.

    October 25, 2011 at 3:58 pm |
  46. Mr. American

    Bush didnt end the war. If he did why were there 60,000 troops still stationed four years later?

    October 25, 2011 at 4:00 pm |
  47. Steve, Clifton, VA

    Slow your Roll Jack! Please note that the majority of President Obama 's so called foreign policy successes came during the past 6 months (you forgot the Somali pirates elimination and capture from a U S flagged ship), and there are 12 months between now and the 2012 elections. Therefore, the President has plenty of time to strike some substantive successes on some of the domestic issues the country currently faces.

    October 25, 2011 at 4:01 pm |
  48. John B.

    What Obama needs to help his re-election is a one page tax code: 5% on the first $100k; 10% on the next $100k; 20% on the next $100k; 30% on the next $100k; 40% on the next $100k; 50% on the rest of your income. No exemptions, no deductions, no tax breaks, no loopholes. All income is taxable no matter where it comes from.

    October 25, 2011 at 4:02 pm |
  49. Ros.....Illinois

    I think it will help our President. As far as Bush ending the war, I don't think that is true. Bush didn't do anything to help our Country that I am aware of. He was the worst President the United States has ever had and No foreign policy.

    October 25, 2011 at 4:05 pm |
  50. Chelle

    I doubt it – the average American voter is myopic at best. You wish to be top dog in the world but not really... isolationist until of course something directly affects you. It's rather like the belief that the US economy is in a vacuum that the world economy won't effect. Americans want to believe that nobody is better than them at anything – reality be damned. Canada is a shining example of what a blend of socialism, capitalism, regulation, and free thinking can achieve. Our economy survived relatively well – because our banking, mortgages etc are well regulated. Are we perfect – hardly, but then your average Canadian would never say that we are.

    October 25, 2011 at 4:06 pm |
  51. Bill of New Mexico

    Obama is sending military advisors into a couple of African countries. How long before that becomes a regiment, and then, a division?

    No one man could have avoided being a one-term President with the economy that America is going through.

    1) Obama ignored his campaign promises.

    2) Instead of voting to bail out Wall Street as a Senator in 2008–as the President in 2009, Obama should have investigated the criminal activity of Wall Street.

    3) The left wing of the Democrats have not been pleased with Obama's foreign policy:

    4) Obama is not going to reap anything positive out of the mis-named "Obama Care:"

    -a) Obama sat on the side lines while Nancy Pelosi behind closed doors made "Obama Care."

    -b) It is filled with pork barrel.

    -c) 2700 pages (it should be repealed on this account alone)

    -d) Already the Democrats have found a huge problem with it. Its "Long Term Care" is going to require far too much money for the budget.

    -e) All this "Obama Care" work was done in secrecy when the Democrats had promised transparency.

    5) Obama has lost at least the Latino vote and much of the left wing of the Democrats are disgusted with Obama.

    6) Obama should forget about campaigning and work at salvaging what he can of his place in History.

    October 25, 2011 at 4:06 pm |
  52. Terry in Virginia

    President Obama has had some impressive victories in the war on terror, something many in the GOP are loathe to acknowledge. But when it comes to the home front, specifically unemployment, infrastructure problems, and poverty, he seemed disconnected until he decided to fight for re-election. Even the decision to finally bring our troops home from Iraq, a promise he made and said would be done by the end of 2009, seems tainted with the goal of winning in 2012. I voted for Mr. Obama in 2008 and I see no Republican worth voting for in 2012. However, I don't know if I can vote for Mr. Obama again. I've lost confidence in his ability to lead and I'm tired of his hollow words.

    October 25, 2011 at 4:08 pm |
  53. Dave, Orlando, FL

    No, they will not. He went about things backwards. He should have attended to the problems here first, then worried about things abroad. It is the domestic policy that we are most concerned with. We live here, not there. And while it is nice (and important) that a few high profile terrorists have been wiped out, not ignoring the middle class would have been nicer (and more important).

    October 25, 2011 at 4:09 pm |
  54. Mark from New Jersey

    If John McCain and Sarah Palin had been the administratilon, we would have been in a third or fourth war with no signs of leaving anywhere, so foreign policy is a consideration, so it should matter. Without Republican opposition on everything, the economy, too would be better. Elect the mentally or ethically challenged Rick Perry, or the completely daffy Herman Cain, it would be worse. And Romney is a shill for the banks, so forget it.

    October 25, 2011 at 4:10 pm |
  55. Jeff In Minnesota

    Like Bill Clinton's campaign said in 1992, "it's the economy, stupid." That statement holds true today just as much, if not more, as it did back then. In the end, foreign policy successes will mean nothing if the unemployment rate and the housing crisis are not getting fixed by election time.

    October 25, 2011 at 4:13 pm |

    Why wouldn't it help? He closed out dubyas unfunded disastrous unfunded war, and brought an end to the hunt for Bin Laden, This alone shoals save millions of dollars and hundreds of US Lives. Libya a WINNER, and not one US Life. NOW! Jack let's talk about getting out of Afghanistan. Just an opinion of an old veteran tired of going to Patriot Guard funerals of young and not so young Americans.,

    October 25, 2011 at 4:14 pm |
  57. Steve Canada

    Its too bad the man has too much class to post a "Mission Accomplished " banner..Your country should be having parades to celebrate the end of a long, painful war..Instead, listen to the vitriolic rhetoric that has gone on…shameful, shameful

    October 25, 2011 at 4:18 pm |
  58. jeff in hawaii

    I wish, but the answer is nope. It is the economy and jobs that will drag him down if he can't find a way to thump some sense into the obstructionist crackers in Congress

    October 25, 2011 at 4:20 pm |
  59. Pete from Milton

    Certainly it will help with some voters, especially those that are most informed about all the issues. As for the rest, well, having to chose between a relatively honest man with at least some proven presidential accomplishments, and ANY one of the inept, hopeless candidates from the other party, should be an easy task even for the ill-informed. But as is usually the case, in the end Republicans will vote for their clown, and Dems will vote for Obama, and a relatively few thoughtful, intelligent Independents will pick the winner.

    October 25, 2011 at 4:24 pm |
  60. Andy in Vancouver, BC

    It should, but it likely won't. I think everyone expects the economy to be issue 1, 2 and 3 in 2012. That said, in three years, Obama has killed scores of Al Qaida, including Bin Laden, and also helped remove Gadhafi, all without spending much in blood and treasure. This means that with little involvement he's succeeded where Bush and Reagan failed. And here's the kicker: this is the one area where Obama doesn't need to go through the congress to get things done. That should tell us all where the real roadblock to prosperity is.

    October 25, 2011 at 4:26 pm |
  61. Pete/Ark

    It will nullify a traditional Republican attack...now,if he ignores THAT"threat"and concentrates on fixing our economy he's in better shape.FIX the economy before next Halloween and he wins...of course that might require a few GOP lawmakers wanting to fix it.Nah,they don't...it's not of strategic value.

    October 25, 2011 at 4:35 pm |
  62. Mitoosense Fort Lauderdale, Florida

    Obama's foriegn policies and handling of the Military has been his stong suit. Domestic policies are all failures. Ronald Wilson Reagan was the same.

    October 25, 2011 at 4:39 pm |
  63. Laith F. Gulli

    The President's foreign policy is a complete failure. The Arab Spring is more similar to an Arab WINTER. The Arabic countries must now know that US policy will only selectively help. This is evident since the former President-Dictator Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali is in exile in Saudi Arabia. Could you believe it–US policy supports Saudi Arabia's military–yet they harbor a terroist/dictator like Ben Ali who is safely living in Saudi. Did the US invade Tora Bora because they harbored Bin Laden? Guess someone with real ethics should go after Saudi for continuously offering safe haven for tyrants like Bin Ali and Idi Amin (former dictator of Uganda).

    Also there is another failure-two military operations in Iraq and now Libya. If there was gas to be had, now we are second fiddle to it behind France ( for Libya's oil.)

    Laith F. Gulli

    October 25, 2011 at 4:40 pm |
  64. Rich in Gainesville FL

    This won't be much help. For instance, it certainly isn't likely to excite his base enough to get their turnout up where it was in 2008. Unless things change dramatically in the meantime, it'll be "the economy, stupid".

    October 25, 2011 at 4:49 pm |
  65. John Blythe

    I don't think its a success Jack, I fear it has caused more chaos in the Middle East region. Everyone was so angry when Bush ran into Iraq and Saddam Hussein was executed; and now Obama runs into Libya with US/NATO air strikes and Gaddafi gets killed and yet people are supporting that. What is there to be proud of? My life hasn't change for the better since Hussein and Gaddafi were disposed. For one thing, its all about the oil and secondly, we have wasted trillions of dollars over there in the Middle East supporting democracy that doesn't seem to work. Hasn't work out well at all in Iraq, has it? That money could have been used here to reinvest in our schools, infrastructure and businesses here at home during this horrible recession. The President's comment on Saturday "now its time to switch gears from Iraq to the economy" was unbelievable. The economy should have been his top priority since day one and not launching a third war simply because the people at the US State Department are bored and they don't have anything better to do with their time right now.

    John in Los Angeles, California

    October 25, 2011 at 4:49 pm |
  66. Jenny from Nanuet, New York

    Of course it will help him. The Republicans have been trying to "Carter-ize" him from the beginning of his term. That is now off the table. His success in foregin policy will help greatly with his reelection. So will the weak candidates in the Republican field.

    October 25, 2011 at 4:57 pm |
  67. Stu, cospgs, co

    It should give him a nice bump at the polls. Not only for ending the Iraq war but for killing Bin Laden, Gdaffy Duck, and all the other senior global terrorist memebrs. I give him an A in Foriegn policy. As for the economy we are not going to wait for the GOP to help out, they don't want to. Hurray for president Obama for finally growing a pair and standing up to the nutty flip flopping do nothing GOP.

    October 25, 2011 at 5:01 pm |
  68. Clinton

    Look, Mr. Obama should get a bump for what he's done in foreign policy, In my opinion America is less likely to be attacked today than we were when he took office and i believe it has to do in part with his policies.
    The election in my opinoin is going to be difficult. On one hand you have Mr. Obama who has had many successes as far as world politics go, and as far as the war on terror goes, but you still have a domestic policy that hasn't been able to improve our situation at home. The thing is though, The other side of the aisle doesn't appear to offer anything in the way of fixing this country.
    Republican candidates that still support the Trickle Down Theory and the "reganomics" they appear to hold in such high regard can't possibly believe that the American people will vote for them can they? Seriously, Regan was good on foreign policy... but he lead us into a recession, in fact the last 2, two term Republican presidents have pushed the very same Theory on us and it has lead to two separate Recessions. To then as a party come out and celebrate this theory as if it's a good idea is absolutely crazy in my opinion. The Trickle Down Theory DOES NOT WORK... Rather it puts us in a recession and i'm not sure how many times throughout history we have to prove this before we either bankrupt this country entirely or we end up with violence in the streets. The idea that you can cut taxes on Giant Corporations and increase military spending and avoid going into debt is REDICULOUS!!!! ... what kind of moron thinks you can cut your income and increase your spending and expect to have more money in the end? I'd laugh about it if it weren't so sad. Seriously? Regan? WHY REGAN? again, he was great with foreign policy but the guy was terrible when it came to economics. Anyways, I guess what i'm saying is, If the Republicans can't put someone up for election that has new ideas outside the tried and failed Theories of Regan and Bush, I see Obama being re-elected in a landslide. America is now smarter than that.

    October 25, 2011 at 5:10 pm |
  69. Anthony from Western Maryland

    He has done more on Terrorism that the last "C" student President!

    October 25, 2011 at 5:13 pm |
  70. Tim in Plantation FL

    No it will be used against him instead. No matter what Obama does it will be spun negatively. You should know that by now. The real credit for our successful foreign operations belongs to our military and intelligence communities. It is reassuring to know their contributions are not hindered by a liberal presidents. The republican hopefuls all seem woefully inadequate and inexperienced too. I think the President does not truly drive the foreign policy but is just along for the ride.

    October 25, 2011 at 5:13 pm |
  71. tomslyck

    It signals that President Obama's message of "Me vs. Congress" is being taken as "Re-elect me! Don't worry about my fellow Democrats."

    Hermosa Beach, CA

    October 25, 2011 at 5:17 pm |
  72. Gene, Jacksonville, Fl

    The President has compromised and back peddaled so far that even the GOP ideas (I guess something is better than nothing) he has put on the table cannot pass in a congress which is determined to defeat the President in 2012 instead of the best interests of this country. This is the most unpatriotic, idealogicall, self-centered, spineless congress I have seen in all my 61 years on this earth. Hertz, Avis and National should consider going in to the rent-a-rep business!

    October 25, 2011 at 5:18 pm |
  73. Ram Riva

    YES!!.....it shows character and leadership under extreme pressure....more than any GOPbagger candidate can say.....on the domestic front....please remember that he has been openly attacked and filibustered by the GOPbaggers more than any President in US history...and yet he remains cool calm and collected....it seems that America is not ready for a 21st centruy President....all the GOPbaggers want is drill baby drill....trickle down economy...and troops deployed in every majori oil producing country in the world....tax cuts for corporations and millionaires....screw the poor and middle class....if you're not rich....so be it!!.....

    October 25, 2011 at 5:22 pm |
  74. Ron in Oklahoma

    I would hope so. If anyone believes that McCain would be drawing down our foreign troops, I have a bridge in Brooklyn I'd like to sell them.

    October 25, 2011 at 5:22 pm |
  75. MelissaF in California

    Well, it sure ain't gonna hurt him! I feel more safer today with Barack Obama in the White House than I ever did under George W. Bush. The GOP does not have a leg to stand on when it comes to the foreign policy debates. Now the economy, that's a different blog.

    October 25, 2011 at 5:22 pm |
  76. john

    yes it will help, minus the bias comments from news heads. Get rid of republicans and local success will
    follow foreign!

    October 25, 2011 at 5:22 pm |
  77. John in Helena

    If President Bush ended the war in Iraq in 2008, why are troops still there in 2011?

    October 25, 2011 at 5:23 pm |
  78. Gavin

    Sure it will. Every little bit helps...a little bit.

    October 25, 2011 at 5:23 pm |
  79. Dorris

    Definitely will help him. We can focus on the jobs and economy because he's taken the worry about terrorism away.

    October 25, 2011 at 5:23 pm |
  80. Van

    Absolutely, his foreign policy victories will help him. The end of Ghaddafi in Libya, the drawdown in Iraq, surge and drawdown in Afghanistan, capture of Bin Laden, systematic dismantling of the Al Qaeda network and elimination of its leadership; all of these can do nothing but help the President in his reelection bid. Whether they will be decisive or not? That's another question.

    Packwood, WA

    October 25, 2011 at 5:23 pm |
  81. George

    This election, like the last Presidential election, will be a referendum on the economy. That the economy is now "less worse" than it was when Obama took office is a nuanced idea and hard to prove. The real question, then, is whether the average American will really believe that a regressive flat tax and the abolition of the EPA will reinvigorate the economy.

    Last time we were in a situation like this, we had suburbs and an interstate highway system to build all over the map. And a broad demographic of returning soldiers who had just spent years liberating Europe from fascism with back pay to spend.

    October 25, 2011 at 5:23 pm |
  82. malick

    yes it should, the President number one job is to keep us safe; as a human being i value safety and security more than a job but tht s just me

    October 25, 2011 at 5:23 pm |
  83. Mycroft Lake Travis Tx

    I've been hard on President Obama. Trying to press him into keeping his campaign promises and he finally is keeping one by getting out us of Iraq by New Years. I thank him sincerely for this one and I hope he continues to surprise us weekly by keeping his other campaign promises . He did a wonderful thing taking out Khaddafey with less money than a half week in Iraq, so in my book he is strong on foreign policy I feel a bit more optimistic that he may start keeping his campaign promises now and I welcome the day,when he keeps his promise of getting rid of Scooter Libby Justice. This country really needs to put these White Collar Criminals and War Criminals on trial and in jail. They are the cause for most of our country's hardships. The American People are the ones that are doing suffering. We are the victims of their crimes and we seek justice. Come on President Obama, hit another one out of the Park ! Do it for the victims and because we just can't have these criminals running free, working on their next big scam.

    October 25, 2011 at 5:24 pm |
  84. Abraham Barra

    Here we go again. If he was a Repulican , his party will force the issue to be talk about . But with the situation on economy, he might not get reelected and im a big supporter of him. Whats your opinion Jack or Wolf?

    October 25, 2011 at 5:24 pm |
  85. Alex Landi

    Mt. Shasta, CA
    The so-called foreign policy "successes" will not help President Obama come election time. His disasterous failures here at home will make him a one-term president. While he did inherit a mess from Bush, he has had made everything worse, and, like all liberals, he simply cannot accept responsibility for his failures. On top of that, he wants to amnesty millions of illegal immigrants who are working millions of American jobs while 16 million of us are unemployed. He will be remembered as the tone-deaf president.

    October 25, 2011 at 5:24 pm |
  86. chuck

    it also not everyone's opinion that he has a successful foreign policy!

    He has big challenges ahead just to keep his own party's support, let alone win the presidency again!

    he has failed us in so many ways that independents like myself that once supported him will be voting republican no matter if they ran Fred Flintstone against him!

    October 25, 2011 at 5:25 pm |
  87. Bill Alford

    Come on Jack, you're talking like operations that got Bin laden and Alawaki were born out of a staff meeting or beer diplomacy. The infrastructure, supply lines, intellegance, logistics, etc to take a long time to establish and maintain. The onlt credit he should get is making the decision to keep those policies. Of course, the political fallout if he ended them would be damaging, so what other decision could he make??

    October 25, 2011 at 5:26 pm |
  88. Virginia Louisiana

    He can do no good because he is a black man and the deep seated racism in this country will not allow him to be credited with anything. Will we ever grow up as a country.

    October 25, 2011 at 5:26 pm |
  89. Michael

    I am more surprised than outraged – but outraged too. On the air you have said that Obama takes credit for winning the war in Iraq (he never did!) and for ending the war whereas,as you claimed, Bush ended the war in 2008. Oh,, really? If the war indeed ended 3 years ago, what were our troops doing there? What are we spending 100 billion on?

    No, Obama's foreign successes will not help him in 2012, partly because of distortions in the media, fair and balanced indeed

    October 25, 2011 at 5:26 pm |
  90. Jim-Charlotte NC

    Obviously not. the Chicken Hawks have managed to undermine any Democrat who has protected this nation while they sat at home leeching off those who did. Hell, they even turned on the one Republican, John McCain, who served his time in the Military.

    October 25, 2011 at 5:27 pm |
  91. Helen Moss

    There is no doubt that President Obama has excelled in foreign affairs, more so than any president since President Clinton. It will definitely help him in the next election.

    October 25, 2011 at 5:27 pm |
  92. Ed Fertik

    Since when did continuing wars, starting wars and escalating wars become success? Since when did assassinating people without legalprocess become success? Since when did helping install sharia law in the middle east become success? Since when did backing away from Israel become success? The real issue is why the media has a double standard for Democrats and Republicans.

    New York

    October 25, 2011 at 5:28 pm |
  93. Ray in Knoxville

    Jack, no matter what spin the Gee-nO-teaParty puts on it, by the 2012 election, Obama's foreign policy will have resulted in revenge for 9/11 (the death of Bin Ladin) and revenge for the Lockerbie bombing (the overthrow and death of Gadhafi) and the return home of thousands of military personnel from a war we should never have been in. With a little surge in the economy, all the Republicans will be reduced to trying the birther/socialist routine again.

    October 25, 2011 at 5:29 pm |
  94. Antwuan

    Why won't it help him. He's done everything to try to help the US. Killed Osama , got rid of Gadafhi, has a jobs bill, the stock market is up, the GDP rising slowly but risining, the deficit going down slowly but going down. He's doing his job but everyone dosent see that

    October 25, 2011 at 5:29 pm |
  95. Cee.La

    President Obama's foreign policy should help him in his re-election.....but I dont know Jack....this GOP/ TP bunch of useless obstructionist in Congress are absolutely terrible....I am sick to death of them....

    October 25, 2011 at 5:29 pm |
  96. Gigi Oregon

    Yes, It will help. We are tired of our tax dollars going for wars that are none of our business, embarrassed that we go into wrong countries looking for the enemy etc.. We are weary of corporate America getting rich off the wars by not supporting the government with a fair percentage of tax payments to support the war efforts, and our troops dying in vain. And not to forget the death and destruction of the innocent. We are disgusted with government borrowing money from other countries and most notably China and impose the paying off to our grandchildren. President Obama has done more for the United States in foreign policy than any President in my life time. Instead of sending troops, send equipment and advisers to the countries that need our help. Let neighbor countries help out their next door countries and the United states get back to rebuilding their own country. Lower are poverty levels, create jobs and make our country a country of hope rather than greed. It would make a better world picture and probably a safer one. Then maybe God would bless us. Because He sure isn't now. The Tea Party and their supporters are holding the government hostage for a new military state. Their way or no way... don't call that freedom.

    October 25, 2011 at 5:30 pm |
  97. Joe in Columbia, SC

    Nothing will help President Obama get re-elected, considering the orgasmic state of mind within the Republican populice and some of those forever on the fence (that means you Independents) to respond in a defiant, hostile and oft arrogant manner towards anything meaningful put forth by him.

    October 25, 2011 at 5:30 pm |
  98. Stephen and Alexandra from the University of South Dakota

    You said it Mr. Cafferty opinion polls show that foreign policy is not a great concern to the typical American voter. Maybe if we stop distracting ourselves with pointless “trivialities” like unemployment healthcare, and the deficit. We can get back discussing issues pertinent to the United States like the Lord’s Resistance Army in Uganda.

    October 25, 2011 at 5:30 pm |
  99. Robert in Worcester MA

    Yes. He focused on getting rid of the people who attacked us on 9-11 which should have been the main focus of the war on terror in the first place. He has achieved a lot on foreign policy than the previous administration did. He promised to end the war in Iraq and he is doing so. Whether it was a date set by the previous administration or not, the fact is people claim it is his war now and he is responsible to end it. Why would we stay in Iraq when they will not give the soldiers immunity to carry out thier operations? Enough is enough

    October 25, 2011 at 5:32 pm |
  100. Eric

    If showing the world our lack of resolve is success, then yes. He has made decisions through a political lens instead of a strategic decision making process an at the end has weakened a country! At least that is a view of this Master Sergeant.

    October 25, 2011 at 5:32 pm |
  101. Antwuan

    Why won't it help him. He's done everything to try to help the US. Killed Osama , got rid of Gadafhi, has a jobs bill, the stock market is up, the GDP rising slowly but rising, the deficit going down slowly but going down. He's doing his job but everyone dosent see that

    October 25, 2011 at 5:33 pm |
  102. Lou In Canada

    Of course it will help! The Arab Spring has sprung, the US need to stand back and let them sort out their future. Globalization has destroyed our jobs. Asia Pacific is growing rampant and erroding our middle class standard of living by 40%, while Asian Pasific's middle class standard of living is growing by 40%. Obama needs to force business through tax reform, to re-invest in the US to create jobs or pay huge penalties for re-investing abroad.

    October 25, 2011 at 5:34 pm |
  103. Loretta

    On the show you said "Bush ended the war in Iraq..". If he ended the war, then why are our US troops still being killed and wounded in Iraq? Anyone can say "the war is over", but can stop the occupation? Bush gave all of his US and foreign cronies big $B deals in Iraq so of course they want us there to protect THEM. If it really happens, then I will consider Obama the ONE who did it because "actions speak louder than words", but it's disheartening that he waited sooooo long to do these things.

    October 25, 2011 at 5:35 pm |
  104. Pat in Rutherfordton, NC

    REPOST Jack, I don't know where you grew up, but where I grew up if we had troops getting killed by the enemy in a foreign country, we didn't consider the war to be over. Obama's foreign successes will definitely go a long way in 2012. I'd hate to hold your opinion and have to explain it to the parents and other loved ones of those who have died for our country in Iraq from 2008-2011. Sometimes, Jack, I wonder just whose side you're on!

    October 25, 2011 at 5:35 pm |
  105. Daniel B. Stringer

    Foriegn policy is the only aspect of The Presidency that is affected very little by The Party of "NO!". Once the general public realizes that Obama can succeed when his hands are not tied then maybe he can finally do the job he has been trying to do for three years. All they have to do is vote in people who have more than one wrong answer(.NO.)

    October 25, 2011 at 5:36 pm |
  106. m collins

    When Obama ran for president ,they questioned the fact that he has no foregn policy experience.It appears that he,s stepped up to the plate with capture of Bin Ladin ,assisted nato with the removal of Gahdafi,removal of our troops from Iraq which will also help with the economy the two wars he in herrited cost the government billions.Why no one asking Bobby jindal for his birth certificate,And his name isn,t Bobby check his birth certificate WHINNING (the donald) .La resident

    October 25, 2011 at 5:37 pm |
  107. Keith

    Assassinating a U.S.-born citizen who is plotting to kill Americans from outside the reach of our law enforcement is a fantastic idea. I don't see how you argue against this. The killing of Osama bin Laden and, indirectly, the over-throw and killing of Qadaffi won't hurt him politically, but we all know our armed forces were the ones responsible for those successes.

    The dismal state of our economy; the huge rise in unemployment; the massive debt incurred on Obama's watch; and the fact that he couldn't right the economic ship after spending a trillion dollars with interest in stimulus spending will and should be the things outweighing any debatable successes he's had in foreign policy. Last thing. In Iraq, where we had an occupying force, there is an emerging democracy today. In Egypt, Libya and other places where Dictators have been overthrown with limited support from the US, we have the seeds for Islamic states under Sharia law being planted. What happened the last time we let a state (Afghanistan) operate under Sharia law? An ambitious man named Osama bin Laden and his cohorts orchestrated 9-11.

    October 25, 2011 at 5:37 pm |
  108. Judy

    Jack !! I can't beleive you would have the nerve to ssay Bush ended the war in 2008, have you lost your memory or what. I can't beleive how you put down our president, where i sthe respect. Bush and Paulson bankrupt our country and left all the mess for Obama to clean up. Funny how people forget so quickly. When Obama said he has to clean up the Bush mess, everyone said .. OH NO your president now it's your mess, WELL ! if thats true then he is the president now so he ended the war. The media is dirty and playing right into the hands of the dirty republican's.

    October 25, 2011 at 5:37 pm |
  109. RAC Palmetto, FL

    Jack, what do you mean President Obama shouldn't get credit for ending the war in Iraq. Elections have consequences. If John McCain had won the 2008 election, does anyone believe we would be getting out of Iraq. His recent comments indicate he would keep our troops there, even if Iraq's government doesn't want them.

    October 25, 2011 at 5:37 pm |
  110. Hoda from Dallas, Texas

    Yes, four years in office is not enough time to clean the mess left by the Bush administration. President Obama has shown strong leadership and solved problems overseas. If we give him another chance in office, he will sure make this country flourish again.

    October 25, 2011 at 5:38 pm |
  111. tonie from OK

    The Republicans have already made a huge mistake by not saying "Good Job". They have no solutions except to gut government which is just scary. Using the Birther nonsense is sick and nutty.

    October 25, 2011 at 5:38 pm |
  112. William Dickens

    If Bush wanted the Troops home he should have made the same move president is making;END the War. Obama is a great president that fight against all odds to keep his word to the American people. Republicans say he is coming out too soon; Bush would have been with that group. The american people stand with the President Barack Obama. Shame on people like you.

    October 25, 2011 at 5:40 pm |
  113. Sung B.

    Obama rode into the presidency on the cowtails of the economic meltdown in 2008. He surely has not done much to improve America's economy, however. Sure, he certainly deserves credit for America's success on foreign policy; nevertheless, Americans have a serious case of amnesia about issues that minimally affect them; thus, while terrorism is a major issue for some; every election is really all about the economy, stupid.

    October 25, 2011 at 5:41 pm |
  114. Jim, Denver CO

    Doesn't matter because there are a lot of people who want to see him fail. Their basic stupidity will not allow them to get past their own biases. It is a shame that such biases still exist in this country today. I believe he should be judged on the content of his character and his actions. But that is just me.

    October 25, 2011 at 5:42 pm |
  115. HURRICANEPAUL from Hawaii

    Jack, whatever President Obama does shouldn't be about helping HIM.

    President Obama should be signing bills into law that helps the employers who employ people.

    October 25, 2011 at 5:44 pm |
  116. Mahendra Mehta

    Of course, foreign policy success is the barometer of his intelligence, leadership and respect in the world. Considering the mountains of problems that he got from previous administration and current GOP, he has successes at home too. Rome was never built in a day.

    October 25, 2011 at 5:45 pm |
  117. tonie from OK

    Obama gets a A + in his foreign policy and his poll numbers are already higher than any of the Republicans. Great Job President Obama.

    October 25, 2011 at 5:48 pm |
  118. marybeth, massachusetts


    It's a wash. On the one hand, Bin Laden and others were eliminated and President Obama is withdrawing the troops from Iraq at the end of this year. Remember how in 2003 President Bush proclaimed "mission accomplished", but then the war dragged on for another 8 years. If it was indeed "mission accomplished", then why did he not withdraw the troops sooner? One of the Republicans' favorite attacks has always been that each and every democrat is weak on foreign policy. Now they're quiet about that, but they still criticize the President because nothing he does will ever be good enough and because they don't want to give him any credit.

    On the other hand, I don't think it matters how well any president does with foreign policy (although it helps) if the domestic problems are so bad. The economy is lousy, there is an ever-growing disparity in wealth, and there aren't enough jobs. Those are big problems for the President. But these are also Congress' problems, and since Congress has the power of the purse and it is Congress that passes laws (the President only signs them or vetoes them), I put as much if not more blame on Congress because they're not trying to help the people.

    So, if people are reminded that it is Congress that is obstructing economic recovery, and if President Obama continues to bring the troops home, I don't think it will matter too much.

    October 25, 2011 at 5:49 pm |
  119. Stan Wojciechowski

    Why not ? You quickly take him to the shed for failing to improve our economic conditions but slow to remove him from that shed for getting us out of Iraq. You can't have it both ways, Bill. Consistentcy in logic is needed.

    October 25, 2011 at 5:49 pm |
  120. Shelby

    The foreign leadership of president Omama will indeed help him. His many other accomplishment will help.The
    GOP keep doing what ever they can to keep unemployement up.And keep singing the old refraim of
    no, no, no, to everything the president attempt to get the economy to improved.Sen. McConnell, rep. Bohener, rep.
    Cantor All Gop leaders saying NO, NO, NO to all Pres. Obama offers to get the economy moving. I think the GOP
    will find themselves on the outside looking in on election day of 2012. I would advise them to read Ps.10:1-18. also Proverb 6:16-18 to hear the conclusion of the whole matter.. Remember God is still in control..

    October 25, 2011 at 5:49 pm |
  121. Ellen Smith

    No Jack not if people like you have anything to do with it. This man can't do anything right according to you and the good right folks. To satisfy ya'll, he would have to move the moon!!!!

    October 25, 2011 at 5:51 pm |