Maybe Election 2012 Isn't About the Economy After All

Washington Post columnist Eugene Robinson says that overseas events, more than domestic economic concerns, could decide the outcome of the race for the White House.

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Kim Jong-un of North Korea (Ed Jones/AFP/Getty Images)

In his column for the Washington Post, Eugene Robinson says that overseas events, more than economic concerns, could decide the outcome of the race for the White House.

But it might be more pertinent to ask, for example, what the North Korean news agency meant Monday with its threat to reduce parts of Seoul to ash with a military attack “by unprecedented peculiar means and methods of our own style.”

There are other, more obvious international situations that could have a big impact on the presidential race -- beginning, of course, with the war in Afghanistan. Both Obama and Romney lag well behind the public mood, which is for bringing the troops home now. Both may be tempted to catch up.

Meanwhile, there will likely be mounting pressure to do something about the brutal war of repression being waged by Bashar al-Assad in Syria. It is hard to imagine what that “something” might be; an intervention robust enough to make a difference would have more in common with the all-out Iraq invasion than with the more limited Libya campaign. But an atrocity can change attitudes overnight.

There’s also the possibility of an Israeli attack on Iran’s nuclear facilities. It may not happen -- but if it does, there’s plenty of political danger here for both campaigns.

Read Eugene Robinson's entire column at the Washington Post.

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