Sometimes politics isn’t all local. There is little doubt that it was President Obama and his administration’s failures that condemned the Democrats to a crushing defeat in both the congressional and gubernatorial contests last week. In particular, the president’s fumbling foreign policy played a key part, in defiance of former House Speaker Tip O’Neill’s rule that “all politics is local.”
In a New York Times/CBS poll conducted in September, 58 percent of voters expressed disapproval of Obama’s foreign policy. The previous month, a majority said they thought the president was “not tough enough” abroad. And an October Pew poll showed the Republicans doubling their lead over the Democrats on foreign policy compared with 2010.
After a period of Iraq-induced “war weariness,’’ the public mood has changed. Clearly, recent events in the Middle East — including the rise of ISIS and its hideous decapitations of two American citizens — have disabused voters of the fantasy that the United States could somehow walk away from the problems of that region with impunity.