What do Paul Tsongas, Bill Clinton, Tom Harkin and Douglas Wilder have in common? Their inexperience in international affairs and national security matters. The ongoing dramatic events in the Soviet Union have reminded one and all how serious a flaw that is in a candidate for a major party's presidential nomination.
These Democrats, like some other possible candidates, have been insisting that domestic issues are central to the 1992 presidential campaign. As Mr. Tsongas put it during another international crisis: "The real dangers are here, not in Iraq." Obviously, a presidential candidate should have a domestic agenda. Health care, crime, jobs, etc. are important. But a president takes an oath to "preserve, protect and defend the Constitution," and that is most compelling in terms of foreign threats, direct and indirect. The job description in the Constitution begins with "The President shall be Commander-in-Chief of the Army and Navy. . ."
George Bush was a heavy favorite to win in 1992 before the upheaval in the Soviet Union. He will be a prohibitive favorite, if the Democrats' choice of candidates is limited to men with little or no credibility as strong, knowledgeable leaders and managers of the world's only super power.