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November 19, 2012

Zombies invade. Who do you want for president?

(Continued)

"The more biocontainment facilities built by the NIH and the CDC," he says, "and the more experiments and studies done on dangerous pathogens, the more likely it is that you could have a pathogen leak."

Something else works in Romney's favor: a commitment to a larger military. If martial law is declared — if whole cities need to be sealed off — the president is going to need high troop levels (although Drezner notes that a bigger Navy, such as the one Romney wants, would be of limited utility against land- based zombies).

Ultimately, this crisis would demand the sort of decisiveness few leaders possess. Romney might extend his theory of international relations to zombies, Drezner says, and simply argue that "the best way to defeat the zombies is to project strength and resolve." This would not, of course, be helpful against an enemy that possesses no higher brain function.

Obama's reaction, Drezner says, might not be calibrated for maximum effectiveness either: "He would initially try to project a large degree of calm, but unfortunately that could play out like Benghazi, and people would start asking, 'Why didn't they figure out what was happening?'" before announcing that the situation was under control.

I tend to think that during a global zombie uprising, citizens would grow mistrustful very quickly if they thought they were being told lies. Drezner thinks the same thing, and we both arrived at the name of a leader who might have the wherewithal to neutralize the zombie threat: New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie.

"He would get out there and say, 'Don't be a moron, these are zombies — if they bite you, you're gonna die,'" Drezner says. "What you need is someone willing to talk straight, someone with steady nerves."

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