by Ray Fleming

The good news for Mitt Romney yesterday was that George H W Bush Sr has endorsed him as Republican candidate for the presidency in the November election, joining son Jeb and wife Barbara who have already declared and leaving only George W Jr to join in to make it a family occasion. The bad news, however, was a CNN poll showing that an election held this week would give Barack Obama a 10 point win over Mr Romney -- an increase of five points from February.

Foreign affairs seldom feature in US presidential elections, which may help Mr Romney because he has some frightening ideas. Earlier this week he said that he still regarded Russia as “America's No 1 geopolitical foe.” The New York Times commented that Mr Romney's views two decades on from the end of the Cold War showed “a shocking lack of knowledge about international affairs or just craven politics. Either way they were reckless and unworthy of a major presidential candidate.” Romney had tried to make political capital out of words caught by an open microphone as Obama talked informally with the Russian president Dmitri Medvedev about negotiations on the US's missile defence plans, saying “I'll have more flexibility after the election”.

That is, of course, a fact and a good reason why Americans should vote for Obama rather than Romney when the time comes.

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