Not only that, but Ken Fisher actually wrote in Forbes that the equity markets would perform better in '09 with an Obama win. What, exactly, is up? http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/aa01069a-2375-11dd-b214-000077b07658.html?nclick_check=1 McCainâs worrying foreign policy Published: May 16 2008 19:34 | Last updated: May 16 2008 19:34 The next president of the United States has a golden opportunity to make a fresh start in foreign policy, to rebuild Americaâs prestige and restore its reputation in the world, dragged through the mud over the past eight years by George W. Bush. If that president turns out to be John McCain, the Republican candidate who is pushing national security as one of his strongest suits, will this â as his likely Democratic opponent, Barack Obama, is implying â amount to a third Bush term? The Arizona senator and former prisoner-of-war in Vietnam does not fit easily into any box. He has, moreover, been on the right side of some of the most defining US policy debates: against the Bush administrationâs use of torture, liberal on immigration, in favour of muscular measures to combat climate change. A poll on Monday for ABC News/Washington Post gave Mr McCain a lead over Mr Obama in perceived knowledge of world affairs of 41 percentage points. Even allowing for the difference in age and experience between the two men, and mindful that the presidential campaign proper has yet to start, this is simply staggering. Mr McCainâs record, underexamined while the Democratic primaries marathon slouches towards its bitter climax, does not appear to warrant it. Rather like Mr Bush, the Republican standard-bearer prefers black and white to shades of grey. His serial muddling of Sunni and Shia shows he is not on top of detail. The âvisionâ of his first term he has just set out looks more like a wish list than a programme. Its foreign policy passages major on military âmetricsâ rather than on how to restore the US to the position of international legitimacy it needs to defeat Islamist jihadism. Unlike Mr Obama, Mr McCain has always supported the Iraq war â arguably Americaâs biggest strategic foreign policy disaster. Unlike anyone who understands the depth of this catastrophe, he appears to believe the US is winning. Encouraged by the unrepentant neo-conservatives in his circle of advisers, he seems willing to join in Mr Bushâs arch, if implicit, tarring of Mr Obama as an appeaser for suggesting engagement with US enemies such as Iran. Mr Obama is, of course, right: any residual success in Iraq will have to involve engaging its neighbours, including Iran, whose regional power the Bush policies have done so much to enhance. Mr McCainâs alliance of democracies idea, while superficially attractive, looks like an attempt to sidestep the United Nations and build an anti-Iran coalition. It is a needless provocation to powers such as China and Russia, whose co-operation the west needs to deal with North Korea or global warming. To continue the policies of the Bush years would be a disaster for the US and therefore for the world. Mr Obama may lack Mr McCainâs experience but he is right that it is time to turn the page on failure.