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Epochal election?

The difference between the presidential candidates is not as great as it looks

By Jonathan Rauch   November 2004

All presidential elections are important, and 2004 is no exception. But epochal? No.

In the first presidential debate, what was striking was not how different the candidates sounded on foreign policy but how alike. George W Bush and John Kerry agreed that the leading problems are the Iraq engagement, North Korean nukes, Iranian nukes, and loose nukes. Their main policy disagreement was on whether to add a bilateral component to current six-party talks with North Korea – a tactical nicety. The only major point of contention was over who will do a better job managing the problems and commitments that…

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