Foreign Policy Thoughts on Obama from Susan Eisenhower


Steve Clemons Susan Eisenhower.jpg
(photo credit: Jon-Christopher Bua)
Susan Eisenhower and I were interviewed outdoors today atop a building overlooking the Capitol by Sky News on the subject of Obama’s trip to the London G-20 Summit, the EU Summit and the NATO Summit — followed by a significant trip to Turkey.
Eisenhower, granddaughter of the late President, is an expert on Russia and Europe and helped animate the “Republicans for Obama” movement.
Her comments today on Sky were important as she stated that she saw the “restart” in US-Russian relations as something crafted by Obama and Medvedev — not Vladimir Putin. She said that there may be a power struggle underway in Moscow between the President and Prime Minister — and that the President seemed to have the upper hand in the recent warming of relations with the West, but things remain fragile and tentative.
She warned that Obama had to be careful not to close down foreign policy options and not box himself into a position. She generally agreed with my views on North Korea, suggesting that the President and Ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice need a more complex, nuanced response to the missile launch than the binary one they seemed to be embracing.
She applauded Obama’s ability to get Europeans, Turks, and others from around the world to suspend their anger at the US for triggering a global financial crisis and to talk about broader challenges that need attention and to improve in their eyes America’s standing.
Eisenhower really should be asked to serve as an Obama administration ambassador to a leading nation. These are my views — not hers — but she really has tremendous insights into statecraft and our nation’s foreign policy challenges in a way that would enhance the chances of success for the Obama administration in world affairs.
I’m not sure she’d take a position as a diplomat at a top tier country — but Obama’s team should ask, and I hope she’d accept.
— Steve Clemons


4 comments on “Foreign Policy Thoughts on Obama from Susan Eisenhower

  1. Jim Covington says:

    Agreed. Why isn’t she being asked to serve? And Wes Clark as well.


  2. David says:

    Thankfully there is still a place for statesmanly thinking and people who still do it, both men and women. Obama is revitalizing the place of statesmanship in American foreign policy. Too soon to know how fully it will be realized, but a dark shroud is most definitely beginning to be lifted.
    How quickly we can move away from the military imperialism of the past I do not know. Nor do I know if those committed to military imperialism are too entrenched and too powerful for any president to effectively counter, nor do I know if voters will stand behind a president who would do so. But at least Susan Eisenhower is carrying forward an understanding that it seems to me her grandfather came to at the end of his presidency.


  3. Linda says:

    I didn’t see anything in particular about Eisenhower’s comments on Obama initiatives on nuclear disarmament and the new defense budget and how these fit with her grandfather’s policies and warnings.
    Also does she see the potential for a US-Russia meeting like Reagan-Gorbachev in Iceland with real results and agreements?
    I agree that she should have any position she wants in Obama administration.


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