AMERICANS WILL enter voting booths in November fixated on a sputtering domestic economy, but they will exit having elected the single most influential player on the world stage. That reflects a paradox of American power: a generally inward-looking electorate selects a leader with only scant attention to his foreign policies or international experience, and yet that person’s actions undoubtedly will shape the course of global events. And into the center of that paradox walks the enigma that is Mitt Romney.
Given his limited foreign-policy experience and counterpuncher’s strategy of defining himself primarily as what his opponent is not, it’s difficult to know just what Romney’s worldview is. His image as a moderate former Republican governor from the Northeast with a successful background in international business suggests a likely comfort level with the liberal-internationalist or moderate realist traditions of the Republican Party.