Edward Luce needs to work on his terminology:
Even the “paleocons” warmed to Mr Romney. At the start of the year John Bolton, the fire and brimstone former US ambassador to the UN, endorsed Mr Romney even though Newt Gingrich promised to make him his secretary of state.
Obviously, Bolton isn’t a “paleocon” by any definition, and neither is he strictly a neoconservative. Bolton is often mistakenly referred to as a neoconservative because he is a nationalist hard-liner whose positions often align with those of neoconservatives, and because he served in the Bush administration, but he has none of their preoccupation with democracy promotion. He is often wrong about things, and has gone so far as to lend rhetorical support to such atrocious groups as the MEK as part of his overall hostility towards Iran. It makes perfect sense that Bolton would like what he was hearing from Romney on foreign policy, because much of what Romney says is just an echo of the kinds of arguments Bolton regularly makes. It isn’t an accident that Romney’s foreign policy spokesman used to work as Bolton’s spokesman at the U.N. That said, anyone who thinks there is a significant difference between a Bolton-approved foreign policy and a neoconservative one is kidding himself.
Luce’s column reminded me of something I had forgotten:
Mr Romney’s Europe team is headed by Nile Gardiner, who helped Lady Thatcher write her memoirs and is now at the Heritage Foundation from where he denounces Mr Obama’s “humiliation” of Britain.
This is also a fitting combination, since Romney and Gardiner seem to share hostility to Europe. Beyond that, I’m not sure what Romney gains in terms of understanding and shaping U.S. policy towards Europe by having Gardiner as an adviser.