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Pivotal Power

May 22, 2009
Under Obama, Dems earn more trust on national security

A new survey shows that after 100 days in office, President Barack Obama’s approval ratings on foreign policy in particular are even higher than on his overall job performance. Nearly two-thirds of likely voters — 64 percent — approve of the job Obama is doing on national security.

More significant, Obama has — at least for now — closed the “trust gap” that has long existed between Democrats and Republicans on national security. Democrats are now at full parity on perceptions of which party would best manage national security, and they have moved far ahead of the GOP on specific challenges such as Afghanistan, Iraq, working with our allies and improving America’s image abroad.

I think former Vice President Cheney’s rants are divisive, and had any Democrat been so bold as to speak in similar tones under his tenure, Cheney would surely have labeled them traitorous — but the people don’t seem to be buying it.

– Nina Hachigian

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Nina Hachigian is a senior fellow at the Center for American Progress and the co-author of “The Next American Century: How the U.S. Can Thrive as Other Powers Rise.” She has worked on the staff of the National Security Council in the White House and been a senior political scientist at the RAND Corporation. She specializes in U.S.-China relations and great power relationships, multilateral institutions and U.S. foreign policy.

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