Saturday, February 2, 2008

Obama and International Perceptions

Corgi Guy has a fascinating, must-read article from a Spanish paper about the international view of Obama, American politics, and how they fit together. The point of the article is that the international view of Obama says much about the state of affairs in individual countries, more so than it says much about whether the international community thinks Obama would be a good President.

This is not to say that Obama's successes are insignificant - quite the contrary, in fact. Should he be elected, he will have an impact that no other President can have - not by what he does, but by who he is and what that fact says about America. The anti-American stereotypes of the European and Latin American Left about the USA will be crushed, while the political Right in those countries (which would fit more closely with American Democrats than Republicans) would finally have some ammunition with which to promote better relations with the USA. As the article states:

"The moment he appears on televisions around the world, victorious and smiling, the United States’ image and the soft power will experience something akin to a Copernican Revolution. "

Thinking back on this, it actually comports well with my limited experiences talking politics in Europe. The individuals with whom I have spoken (one a center-right politician from Austria, the other a center-right professor from Slovakia) were both extremely excited about Obama...and both were on the European center-right.