23 February 2009

Most Important Presidential Visits

(From RealClearWorld)

It was 37 years ago this week, President Nixon made the audacious visit to the People's Republic of China, paving the way for a new bilateral relationship with the world's most populous nation. The momentous trip gives rise to the expression of "Nixon Goes to China" and underscores the importance of certain presidential visits - how they shape the foreign policy of the United States and in some cases, alter the course of history.

Last Thursday, Barack Obama made his first foreign visit as American president with a seven-hour journey to Canada. While it is certain that President Obama will be taking more overseas trips to visit America's allies and competitors, there's no guarantee that any of them will have substantial impact on the future of American foreign policy. Sometimes, history dictates the terms: President Clinton made 54 overseas trips during his presidency, and none appeared on our list. In contrast, President Truman made just four, but one of which is No. 3 on our list and one that set the stage to end one global conflict, but also to beget another.

We considered the trips taken by 19 different presidents covering just over 100 years, beginning with Teddy Roosevelt's journey to the Panama Canal Zone in 1906. We considered the lasting impact of these trips and came up with these 10:

No. 10 Teddy Roosevelt

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