The Washington Post

Obama ad pointlessly insults foreign allies and competitors.

Your Insiders have often lamented the fact that our campaigns are not adequately preparing those who win our elections to be effective in government. The latest example of a campaign being the enemy of good governance is a pointless ad President Obama's team is running that will only be remembered by those it insults. And in this case, the insulted are several foreign countries that are portrayed in a disparaging light and are being drawn into an American domestic political food fight.

The ad suggests the countries named were complicit in alleged activities involving Mitt Romney that Obama doesn't approve of. None of the countries highlighted will appreciate inclusion in the president's negative ad. Some might even remember and look for ways, big or small, to retaliate against the next president, especially if it remains Obama.

In this case, the president's silly ad takes several of our foreign relationships backward. No good is served and it will make governing harder, regardless of who wins.

While Romney is traveling abroad and trying to reassure America's foreign partners that we are serious and engaged in the world, the president's team is running this ad, which the foreign countries that are singled out are supposed to ignore, not take personally and certainly not do anything in-kind to the United States.

Maybe the president's team gave each of them a "Medvedev moment," in which the president offered assurance that after the election he would be his usual compliant self and asked that each country please ignore what he says and does during the campaign.

It would be better if we kept our insults to ourselves and left our foreign allies and competitors out of our campaign attack ads.

Ed Rogers is a contributor to the PostPartisan blog, a political consultant and a veteran of the White House and several national campaigns. He is the chairman of the lobbying and communications firm BGR Group, which he founded with former Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour in 1991.


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