While Doyle McManus' column is insightful in analyzing Barack Obama's and Mitt Romney's respective foreign policy approaches, it is not presidents but the American people who determine our foreign policy posture.
America's role as the hegemon needs to be compared to the past empires of Persia, Rome, Spain and Great Britain, each of which projected economic and military strength. Their power made them unloved but respected upholders of world order.
For all of all our potential, it appears that the mantle of global hegemon does not fit well the American people. Although the story is not finished, one may reasonably speculate which of the presidential candidates would embrace this role.