TAMPA—This convention, and the campaign to come, are supposed to be about jobs and the economy, not about foreign policy. But foreign policy still figures in the convention and campaign and will probably rear its head in Mitt Romney’s acceptance speech. There are two kinds of foreign policy statements to watch out for in the months ahead: First, there are general philosophical statements about America’s role in the world; second, there are operational statements about what American should do about specific problems in the world.
The uproar among conservatives yesterday over alarmingly pro-health care statements by Mitt Romney and his chief spokeswoman was not the only split that emerged on the right. There was also quite a stir among conservative foreign policy mavens over the announcement that Bob Zoellick, recently retired from leading the World Bank, would be overseeing the transition for national security should Romney win in November. This set off giant alarm bells within the neo-conservative camp, which regards Zoellick as a weak-kneed "realist," not least for his conciliatory stance toward China.