Grading the Candidates on Pakistan

It was an opportunity to look "presidential" and score points with the voters. The death of Benazir Bhutto which plunged nuclear power Pakistan into crisis and chaos was one of those unscripted, unexpected events during a campaign that reveals something important about the candidates; their ability to think on their feet and project an aura of knowledge designed to reassure voters in a time of instability for a major ally:Think of Mr. bin Laden’s videotape message late in the 2004 election — giving President Bush a chance to look more commanding than Senator John Kerry — or the twists of the Iranian hostage crisis in 1980, as Ronald Reagan made President Jimmy Carter look feckless. And all of the contenders rushed to weigh in, determined and eager to use the moment to show command of issues both large (Pakistan’s relations with India and Afghanistan) and small (the proper pronunciation of Rawalpindi, the garrison city where Ms. Bhutto died). While...(Read Full Post)