In foreign affairs, Obama clears the decks, sets the stage for next president

President Barack Obama is spending his political capital, one country at a time.

Going around the world to bridge relations with former adversaries, recognize and right historical wrongs, or write new chapters in an evolving world order is seldom a president’s first-term work. It is the politically difficult work done at the end of a leader’s last term, a time when he is free of re-election concerns.

President Barack Obama hugs Shigeaki Mori, an atomic bomb survivor, during a ceremony at Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park in Hiroshima, Japan, last month. Obama became the first sitting U.S. president to visit the site of the world’s first atomic bomb attack, bringing global attention to survivors and to his unfulfilled vision of a world without nuclear weapons. (Carolyn Kaster - The Associated Press)

President Barack Obama hugs Shigeaki Mori, an atomic bomb survivor, during a ceremony at Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park in Hiroshima, Japan, last month. Obama became the first sitting U.S. president to visit the site of the world’s first atomic bomb attack, bringing global attention to survivors and to his unfulfilled vision of a world without nuclear weapons. (Carolyn Kaster - The Associated Press)

In the last few weeks, the president traveled to Japan and Vietnam, executing on his rebalance to Asia, a strategy that will be inherited by future presidents. But he was able to do more.  Read more.