To the extent, however, that national security issues come to dominate the conversation on the right, and the sentiment is that that Obama is another Jimmy Carter, Republicans will likely nominate a candidate who can speak to this zeitgeist.

Conservatives who panned Obama’s West Point speech — an assault on straw men aimed at putting Obama in the reasonable middle between isolationism and perpetual war – aren’t exactly craving a Republican candidate who can deliver an opposing lecture touting the virtues of non-interventionism.

A lot can change between now and the Republican primary season, but as I wrote in my column, Obama is now turning his interests to foreign policy now that his legislative agenda has no chance in Congress and he’s no longer constrained by reelection ambitions. So, national security issues are more likely to play a role in the Republican debates starting next year.