Obama in Afghanistan
Over the weekend, I eagerly anticipated the images of Barack Obama on his first visit to Afghanistan. My hope was that they would provide a better gauge of the foreign policy gravitas boost Obama might get from meeting with foreign leaders and our troops in the field this week. I will say that Obama looked good having breakfast with a young, ethnically diverse group of U.S. soldiers, and he hit a nice outside jumper on the basketball court, while many more looked on. But in the first images of his meeting with Afghan President Hamid Karzai, Obama looked, well, young. I am sure this is not the first reaction the Obama campaign would like most voters to have.
Still, Obama’s foreign policy positions have seemed prescient in recent weeks. With the Iraqi government now appearing to support a timeline for American troop withdrawal, the Bush Administration making diplomatic overtures to Iran, and John McCain calling for a troop surge in Afghanistan, the confluence of message and image couldn’t have been better for Obama. But a picture is worth a thousand words, and the Obama campaign is no doubt hoping that the visuals from this trip will spur upward movement in the polling numbers on Obama’s suitability as commander-in-chief. My sense after these initial images is a definite maybe. That said, my guess is that Obama will look sharp meeting with France’s first couple, but, as we know, that didn’t exactly help John Kerry in 2004.

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