John McCain’s campaign foreign policy advisor, Randy Scheunemann, has emerged as an advisor to former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin as she attempts to build a serious public profile and begins to build a network of aides and advisors typical of a national politician.
Scheunemann confirmed this evening that he’s with Palin in Hong Kong, where she is delivering a paid speech at a conference hosted by the brokerage house CLSA, which has in the past heard keynotes from Bill Clinton and Al Gore.
His presence offers a clue as to who in the McCain orbit has survived a bitter set of post-campaign recriminations, and suggests that this won’t be an anodyne foreign policy address, and one source familiar with it says it’ll be a wide-ranging talk encompassing everything from the financial crisis, health care, and energy to Afghanistan and policy toward China and the entire East Asian region.
Scheunemann been a sharp critic of many aspects of Obama’s approach, most recently scoffing at what he described as a “unilateral preemptive concession” to Russia on missile defense bases in Eastern Europe. Scheunemann, an early supporter of the Iraq war, is prominent in the hawkish, internationalist, neo-conservative wing of the party’s foreign policy thought, and his place beside Palin also offers a bit of a clue as to the direction in which her vaguely-defined foreign policy views are likely to develop. Two other Republican policy hands, , worked on the speech as well, I’m told: AEI China expert Dan Blumenthal and D.C. lawyer Kim Daniels.