Will the Next President be Irrelevant?

With Obama’s win in South Carolina, it seems clear now that it is a four person race for the White House. On the Democratic side, it will be Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama. On the Republican side, it will be John McCain or Mitt Romney.

McCain is still foolishly trying to own the Iraq quagmire, which I think will come back to haunt him in so many ways it isn’t funny.

But what kind of America will the next president preside over? Is it an Incredible Shrinking Superpower?

Parag Khanna of the New America Foundation argues in the NYT Magazine that the choices the Bush administration has made have profoundly weakened US power in the world. Indeed, he suggests that Bush set the US on a downward spiral, such that Europe, China and India are picking up the pieces and making Washington irrelevant. While the US is bogged down in Iraq, China is quietly extending its influence in Asia. Europe is playing both sides against the middle, and is increasingly indebted to Russia and Central Asia for its energy.

You have to wonder whether Bush’s aggressive, unilateral policies have not only sunk him but the rest of us as well.

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