Politics

Bob Schieffer Prepares List of Subjects to Avoid at Tonight's Presidential Debate

A limited view of foreign policy.

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Earlier this month, moderator Bob Schieffer announced the subjects he intends to cover in tonight's presidential debate on foreign policy:

Don't blame me, I voted for the clavicle.

* America's role in the world
* Our longest war – Afghanistan and Pakistan
* Red Lines – Israel and Iran
* The Changing Middle East and the New Face of Terrorism - I
* The Changing Middle East and the New Face of Terrorism - II
* The Rise of China and Tomorrow's World

The list, he noted, was "subject to possible changes because of news developments." And "tomorrow's world" is a phrase that could conceivably cover a lot, though in practice it is likely to cover little.

But think about how much is missing here. Dan Drezner has posted a list of absent topics, and while some of them were bound to be excluded from the evening no matter what -- hardly anyone will base their vote on what the candidates have to say about India, no matter how important India may be -- it really wouldn't be a bad idea to ask the candidates a question or two about the Eurozone. And Russia. And North Korea. And the violence raging right next door in Mexico. I'm sure that China and the strip stretching from Libya to Pakistan will give the candidates plenty of opportunities to pretend that their differences are deeply substantial, but surely it wouldn't hurt to let them grandstand on a new subject.