If anyone had any doubts that foreign policy will take a back seat in the 2012 strategy of Republican Mitt Romney, his choice of Rep. Paul Ryan as his running mate should eliminate that. Unlike Sen. Rob Portman of Ohio, one of the also rans, Ryan has no foreign policy chops. His expertise and his reputation were built in the domestic arena on the budget.
Romney has built a ticket with the fewest foreign policy credentials since 1936 when Republicans paired Kansas Gov. Alf Landon with New Hampshire publisher Frank Knox. That, like today, was an election dominated by the domestic economy. Romney-Ryan also gives the nation its first election since 1944 with no military veteran on either of the two tickets.
Despite the mixed reviews Romney received for his recent overseas foray to England, Israel and Poland, the Republican challenger has decided he can weather any attacks on his foreign policies. In 23 minutes of speeches in Norfolk, there was not even a mention of the international. With Ryan at his side Romney is betting that 2012 will be a year when voters don't really care about what's happening across the ocean, or at least not enough to determine their votes.
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