Five Best Friday Columns

Peggy Noonan on Romney's "rolling calamity," David Brooks on nurturing grandiosity, Joel Kotkin on the last swing territory, Daniel W. Drezner on presidents and foreign affairs, and Pankaj Mishra on China-Japan relations.

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Peggy Noonan in Wall Street Journal on Romney's "rolling calamity" "The Romney campaign has to get turned around," Noonan writes. "This week I called it incompetent, but only because I was being polite. I really meant 'rolling calamity'." What Romney needs is to realize the candidate cannot also be the CEO. He has to learn to trust others. "Mitt Romney needs to get his head screwed on right in this area."

David Brooks in The New York Times on nurturing grandiosity "Prosperity is often driven by small enclaves of extraordinary individuals that build new industries and amass large fortunes." Using the example of SpaceX's Elon Musk, Brooks argues that grandiose people create jobs. "These driven, manic individuals are frequently unpleasant to be around. But, if your country is not attracting and nurturing them, you’re cooked."

Joel Kotkin in The Daily Beast on suburbs as the last swing territory Big cities go to Obama, and country areas go to Romney. But suburbs are split. Both minorities for Obama and affluent suburbanites for Romney live in the growing suburban metropolises. "[The] suburbs have evolved into a shapeless political lump, divided by income and race, cultural conflict, and regional rivalries."

Daniel W. Drezner in The New York Times on why presidents love foreign affairs For all the campaign talk of the economy, presidents end up focusing more on foreign policy in office because of the contraints of the modern presidency. Presidents can largely do what they want in foreign policy, but they need Congress to act on domestic economic matters. "Short of a landslide, presidents have a brief honeymoon period in which to push major domestic policy initiatives through Congress."

Pankaj Mishra in Bloomberg View on breaking out of the China-Japan trap China and Japan have a testy history. China was Japan's "teacher" for centuries before Japan decided to build on a Western model and became determined to take Chinese territory. China hasn't forgiven it since, fueling nationalistic urges. But "at some point, however, the bigger, more powerful country - - the one that has “stood up” -- will have to take the risk of breaking the stalemate with a bold and generous initiative."

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.