By Jessy Morner-Ritt
Since the beginning of the fall semester I have harbored a nerd-girl crush on my Introduction to International Politics professor, who is brilliant, witty and has me almost convinced she is balancing her day job with a night job as a CIA agent.
On Monday night the School of Media and Public Affairs partnered with the Elliot School of International Affairs to host a foreign policy pre-debate panel moderated by SMPA Fellow and the Pentagon’s Assistant Secretary of Defense for Public Affairs (2010-2012), Doug Wilson. NBC Chief Foreign Correspondent Richard Engel, The Washington Post’s diplomatic correspondent Anne Gearan, editor-in-chief of Foreign Policy Susan Glasser and contributing editor to WIRED Noah Shachtman critiqued the lack of in-depth analysis by the presidential candidates on Afghanistan, Russia and the Euro crisis, as well as the complexities of whether our future president will pursue a partner or competitor in China. Glasser’s comments on President Obama’s “swagger,” and her description of the presidential debates being a modern-day exemplary of “alpha-male chest pumping of America being the best,” added yet another international politics academic to my list of nerd-girl crushes.
The pre-debate panel did not only direct viewers toward what they should be looking for in the final presidential debate but gave top insight into the Benghazi conflict as a clarifying moment for the U.S. public on presidential management of international crises. Questions posed by each panelist member such as: “what did American accomplish with its longest war,” “how much does American want Republican candidate Romney in Afghanistan,” “where is Al-Qaeda” and “can we partner with Russia or China,” have officially notched my nerd-crush list up to five foreign policy experts; I think I’m developing a type.