Many Democrats argued that Obama’s election would remake America’s
image abroad. Do the recent protests and violence in the Middle East
prove that nothing has changed? Heather Hurlburt of the National Security Network and Matt Welch of Reason recently got together on Bloggingheads to debate this issue:
Hurlburt explains that global public opinion of the U.S. is dramatically higher than it was in 2008 everywhere except the Middle East. In the Middle East it “went up and then went back down” in part to high expectations over what President Obama could accomplish. However, Obama’s magic seems to have worked among America’s traditional allies in Western Europe.
Welch counters that disdain for Bush and affinity for Obama stems from facile cultural preferences. He argues that many in Europe’s foreign policy establishment feel a great distance from the president. Welch concludes that Obama does not have the “touch” for transatlantic relations that many of his predecessors did.
Daniel Larison recently tracked global attitudes toward the U.S. here.