The 2012 U.S. Elections in a Transatlantic Perspective: Domestic and Foreign Policy Debates
On 15 February, the GMF Paris Office organized a conference-debate in partnership with the France-Amériques Association. GMF President Craig Kennedy, Senior Transatlantic Fellows Kristin Silverberg and Bruce Stokes, and former Ambassador of France to the United States, François Bujon de l’Estang, exchanged views on the upcoming American presidential elections as seen from a transatlantic perspective. The Director of the GMF Paris office, Alexandra de Hoop Scheffer, chaired the panel. About 100 participants – diplomats, academics, company representatives, and students - were in attendance to hear and ask questions of the speakers who offered a candid assessment of the state of American domestic affairs, with an added focus put on the Republican primaries, Barack Obama’s chances of reelection, and the current economic situation. This led to a frank discussion with the audience about how America could retain its power at a period where domestic constraints have forced the country to make important decisions for its foreign policy, the future of NATO, and burden-sharing and policy options towards Iran. Finally, the panel underlined the extent to which this period was representative of the importance of the transatlantic relationship, with the Europeans – while in a crisis of their own - being summoned to shoulder a part of the American burden in the Middle East and other regions of the world.