World Expectations Lowered

Throughout the U.S. presidential primary season, Republican candidates disagreed on many issues, but were united in their attacks on President Obama for presiding over the decline in America’s stature in the world. No candidate pursued this line of attack more vigorously than the now presumptive Republican nominee, Mitt Romney. Obama vigorously pushed back. A new global survey now brings a mixed verdict about this debate. In January, Romney charged that “(Obama) believes that America’s role as leader in the world is a thing of the past.” He has repeated variants of this charge numerous times. President Obama has not hesitated to respond, first in his State of the Union address in January and then in late May in a commencement address at the US Air Force Academy, where he asserted, “Let’s start by putting aside the tired notion that says our influence has waned, America is in decline”. Each candidate attempts to seize the high ground as champion of American triumphalism. Romney seems intent on convincing voters that the bad old days of anti-Americanism are returning, thanks to Obama. The president implies that the Obama-mania that swept much of the world in the wake of the 2008 election remains a positive asset for United States. A new global survey of more than 26.000 people in 21 countries released June 13 by the Pew Research Center’s Global Attitudes project shows both presidential contenders are right. Both are wrong. After his election in November 2008, many people around the world embraced Obama in large part because he was not George Bush. Reversing a half-decade of profound anti-Americanism, support for new US president and America soared to what have proven to be unsustainable levels. Obama’s honeymoon with the global public, symbolized with an award of Nobel Peace Prize, is not over. But as he seeks reelection, indications of friction in relationship are emerging. As a result, the Romney and Obama camps are likely to cherry-pick world-public opinion data that bolster their respective partisan arguments and conveniently ignore sentiments that contradict their campaign themes. Any assessment of global public’s take on America during the Obama era depends on whether it’s a snapshot or a moving picture and when cameras start rolling. In the fourth year of Obama presidency overall ratings for US today remain largely positive in 12 of 20 countries outside United States surveyed by Pew Research Center. This includes large majorities in a number of European nations: Poland, 74 percent; France and Italy, 69 percent; as well as Japan, 72 percent, and Brazil, 61 percent. In contrast, ratings are decidedly negative in 4 of 6 predominantly Muslim countries polled, including 19% in Egypt, 15% in Turkey, 12% in Jordan and Pakistan. And what goes up has no place to go but down. This year America’s favorability stands at 52 percent in Germany, down 10% points from 2009, in Obama’s first year. Opinion of the US in Mexico, 56 percent favorable, is down 13% points from 2009. Such comparisons are relative. German approval of US is still 21 points higher today than it was in the last year of Bush administration. Mexican approval is up 8 points from 2008 (…..)



Acerca de ignaciocovelo
Consultor Internacional


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