Foreign Policy Advisory Index: The Backstory

Everything you ever wanted to know about foreign policy advisors.

Greg Craig reprised his role as John McCain in Obama's debate preparations. CBS News, October 7.

Randy Scheunemann disputed Obama advisor Michael McFaul's claim that McCain's foreign policy intends to "isolate" Russia. Bloomberg, October 8.

Lindsey Graham predicted more character politics in the debate last night. LA Times, October 7.

Who will be secretary of state in the new administration? If it's Obama, CQ thinks Susan Rice, Richard Holbrooke and Bill Richardson are in the running. If McCain prevails, the job might be filled by Joe Lieberman, James Woolsey or John Negroponte. Congressional Quarterly, October 5.

Randy Scheunemann has been in cleanup mode, clarifying a statement made by Sarah Palin about Iran's nuclear ambitions. He stated the McCain-Palin ticket won't allow Iran to develop nuclear energy or nuclear weapons. Washington Post, October 6.

Barack Obama senior foreign-policy advisor Greg Craig told EU Observer that if Obama were elected he would not trade Eastern European security for Russian help on Iran. euobserver.com, October 5.

Jake Tapper cites a report that McCain foreign-policy advisor Richard Fontaine touted McCain's former Brazilian girlfriend as evidence of his Latin America experience. He then later said it was "a bad attempt at humor." Political Punch, October 4.

Richard Danzig, one of Obama's top national-security advisors, doesn't think defense spending will decrease in the first years of a potential Obama presidency. Wall Street Journal, October 3.

The British ambassador to the United States sent a letter to his prime minister, Gordon Brown, in July 2008 analyzing Barack Obama's policies and personality. He pointed to the clear tension between neocons and realists on McCain's team, while explaining rifts on the Obama side are less visible, but still there. There is, he wrote, "a potential fault line [in the Obama camp] between progressives like Tom Daschle, Susan Rice and Samantha Power on the one hand and the more pragmatic advisers on the other (Nunn, Hamilton, Danzig, Brzezinski). Tony Lake hovers between the two." Telegraph, October 2.

Preparations for tonight's vice-presidential debate are well under way. Randy Scheunemann has been playing Biden for Palin. Michigan's Governor Jennifer Granholm has been filling in for Palin in Biden's debate camp. Newsweek, October 2.

What would the Palin Doctrine be? She seems to have taken well to McCain's stances, including Randy Scheunemann's advocacy of hard-line approaches to Iran and Russia. Washington Post, October 1.

Palin's foreign-policy adviser Steve Biegun defended her international experience, adding "Governors don't have the same opportunities or the same responsibilities that senators have. They're different, but they're not inferior." Newsweek, October 1.

Sarah Palin's debate preparation continues at John McCain's Arizona ranch. The all star lineup of foreign policy advisors helping to hone her message for Thursday's debate includes Randy Scheunemann, Mark Wallace and Steve Biegun. Scheunemann is pretending to be Joe Biden during practice sessions, while Biegun is busy defending comments Palin made during her recent interview with Katie Couric. Fox News and New York Daily News, September 30.

While these McCain groupies are focusing on Sarah Palin's diction and annunciation, Max Boot has been writing-contributing an essay on the resiliency of the American economy to a New York Times segment on the financial crisis. Editor and Publisher, September 30.

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