Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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March 24, 2011

VASTLY IMPROVED GLOBAL STANDING.... Back during the 2008 presidential campaign, there was a fair amount of talk about how the United States had lost much of the respect we once enjoyed on the global stage. Barack Obama made a point of saying he wanted to improve America' international reputation and get the world to start respecting us again.


It's worth pausing from time to time to note that he's been largely successful on this front. Gallup has a new report out today, documenting the results of an international survey, featuring the results from more than 100 countries. Gallup asked whether people around the world approve or disapprove of the job performance of the leadership of the United States and the same question about the leadership of six other major countries.

In 2007 and 2008, the last two years of the previous administration, the U.S. was sixth of seven, trailing Japan, the United Kingdom, Germany, France, and China. Yes, in the Bush/Cheney era, a repressive Chinese regime was actually more popular around the world than us.

In 2009 and 2010, the first two years of the Obama administration, the U.S. now once again is out in front.

Of course, it's not just Gallup. We've seen similar trends in America's popularity in the Obama era in similar international polls, including the Pew Global Attitudes Project, which also found a vast improvement in global views of the United States since the president's election.

Steve Benen 1:30 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (21)

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This is absolute proof that Obama is failing our country!

Everyone knows that the role of the United States and it real American Leadership is to evoke fear from the other countries on this planet. Respect, other than that earned at gunpoint, is a leading indicator of the failure of Obama!

Posted by: NeoConPointOfView on March 24, 2011 at 1:40 PM | PERMALINK

Yeah, but that was then, this is now.

Now, global standing matters not a bit, it only means we're sucking up to France, if only Obama spent more time on domestic issues blah blah blah...

So sayeth the Right.

Posted by: bignose on March 24, 2011 at 1:42 PM | PERMALINK

Well, that's probably just the Librul Media saying that. Or George Soros doing it. Or the fact that Obama's a socialist, and everybody loves socialists because of their brainwashing socialist gummint-owned educational systems. Or because arglebargle gak Kenyan black UN helicopter Fascist communist freedom-hating ... blurp.

Posted by: bleh on March 24, 2011 at 1:43 PM | PERMALINK

Ok, we had Obama and the Democrats in control of both houses of Congress, and our ratings went up.

Don't anyone tell the rest of the world that Republicans have regained the House, and are Hell-bent on making things worse than even Little Boots did.

Posted by: c u n d gulag on March 24, 2011 at 1:44 PM | PERMALINK

Well, this just doesn't fit the narrative that the media and the Republican Party want to portray. It puts too much of a positive light on the Obama administration. So I guess we won't be hearing much about this turnaround. I can just imagine there will be plenty of "look at that shiny object" stories to distract attention from the facts in this new report.

Posted by: Ladyhawke on March 24, 2011 at 1:44 PM | PERMALINK

Right and will our nation be informed of this on any of the nightly corporate propaganda shows called the evening news ? How about CNN ? or the delusional rantings displayed on Fox ? On the other hand now pretend Bush, or any repiglican, were still the president .....yep, we know what would happen then .......

Posted by: stormskies on March 24, 2011 at 1:51 PM | PERMALINK

If you were to show this chart to a wingnut who complains that Obama has diminished America's status in the eyes of the rest of the world, they would just turn on a dime and claim it is evidence that Obama cares more about what the rest of the world ( who they would say would prefer a weak U.S.) thinks of us than he does about domestic issues.

The beauty of the conservative mind is that they will see Obama's popularity outside the United States as proof that he has diminished the country's international stature.

It's the same sort of logic that argues the more wealth is concentrated in the hands of a few, the more they will have to invest in wealth creating endeavors and add to economic growth, nevermind that we have an economy that relies on widespread consumer demand for goods and services, and that more money in the hands of consumers will create further demand. For all their dismissiveness of Soviet style command economys, supply-side is just the capitalist version of the same thing.

Posted by: Rip on March 24, 2011 at 1:53 PM | PERMALINK

Today's MSM meme is what a fustercluck our Libyan adventure is! Too little, too late/too much, too early, Who's on First?

It has been several whole DAYS, and the show ain't over! What's taking so long? A real man would nuke 'em, and be done by dinner time.

-so sayeth the BroderKinder, since it sells advertising, and levels the playing field for 2012- which will sell great heaping gobs of ad space and Pulitzers for everybody! Fire up the hot tub, honey; I'm heading for the Porsche dealership!

Posted by: DAY on March 24, 2011 at 1:58 PM | PERMALINK

I would expect as much from the Obamination's International Apology Tour 2009-2011.

We on the right are interested in how American patriots perceive America, not people in some foreign place like China, Germany, Kenya, or Hawaii.

Posted by: Al on March 24, 2011 at 2:05 PM | PERMALINK

Al, fire your writers!

Posted by: DAY on March 24, 2011 at 2:28 PM | PERMALINK

This was picked up by Politico. Naturally, the conservatives in the comments took it as a bad thing for America.

Posted by: Sam on March 24, 2011 at 2:34 PM | PERMALINK

They like us! Those dirty foreign bastards really like us!

Posted by: hells littlest angel on March 24, 2011 at 2:43 PM | PERMALINK

Awesome! This means that an improved economy, better government finances, more jobs, less war -- they are all just around the corner.

Because that's what really matters - what the rest of the world thinks of the United States. Once the U.S. is well-liked, everything else just falls into place.

I'm sure the improvement stems from the closing of Gitmo, the ending of rendition/torture, and ending the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Or maybe not.

I'd trade 10 favorable percentage points for a couple tenths of a percent off the unemployment rate...

Posted by: Jon Stankley on March 24, 2011 at 2:47 PM | PERMALINK

Jon Stankley you are obviously a graduate of the Can't walk and chew gum at the same time school.

Posted by: Gandalf on March 24, 2011 at 3:35 PM | PERMALINK

I'm not sure these changes are statistically significant. Also, it is pretty sad that the numbers are so low.

Posted by: edb on March 24, 2011 at 4:19 PM | PERMALINK

<sneer>Gallup must have only surveyed socialist countries.</sneer>

Posted by: josef on March 24, 2011 at 4:33 PM | PERMALINK

Definitely saw this sea change in the attitudes of everyone around me and in the different countries I do business in. Instead of having a little Dauphin prancing around and barking out unthought through dictats we had a senior partner back (and for me at least Obama reminded me what I liked about the States; just as the tea-pottiers have reminded me of that that is ugly) but... a lot of wariness lingering about American plutocracy which very evidently would like to pull down competing forms of capitalism where the field is less tilted in favor of the powerful. The long-term shift is still to one of looking past and working past the States where possible.

And actually, Jon Stankley, this does impact your employment rate. I went from feeling "F*cked if I'm going to buy or source products from a country stoopid enough to re-elect Bush" (or at least let him get within the 5% points or so that can be jebbed in the U.S.'s corrupted electoral process) to reconsidering U.S. sources. Quite sure I'm not alone.

Posted by: snicker-snack on March 24, 2011 at 4:49 PM | PERMALINK

Sad to say, unless Obama can channel the Truman who fired MacArthur, I don't expect the Nobel Prize peace-maker's world standing to remain high as the Libyan adventure drags on... and on... and on. Inevitably it will end with one of two bad results: either a radical Muslim government or another friendly dictator who will share the oil while oppressing what's left of his people.

Three times in the past decade and a half the U.S. has intervened to prevent democratic elections in Middle Eastern countries from electing a radical Islam government. Think we won't do it again?

Posted by: John B. on March 24, 2011 at 4:54 PM | PERMALINK

The only person who would be surprised and upset about this news is corporate media and the always outraged Republicans. Our nation is doing better with President Obama leading in all aspects. Fact prove that.

Thanks for the news on this cause I know I won't see nor hear it in the Koch brothers/Murdoch corporate false news world. NEXT.

Posted by: Kelly on March 24, 2011 at 5:01 PM | PERMALINK

Watch this video from Bengazi. It's amazing.


Posted by: impik on March 24, 2011 at 5:16 PM | PERMALINK

In some tiny measure it must really chap the Republicans delicate areas that Obama never has had footwear chucked at him...

Posted by: Skip on March 24, 2011 at 6:13 PM | PERMALINK



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