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The Democratic Strategist

Political Strategy for a Permanent Democratic Majority

Teixeira: Obama Improves U.S. Global Image

In his current ‘Public Opinion Snapshot‘ at the Center for American Progress web pages, TDS Co-Editor Ruy Teixeira spotlights a new 25-nation ‘Global Attitudes Survey” by Pew, which clearly indicates that President Obama’s foreign policy has been a stunning success. Described by Teixeira as “heavy on consultation and diplomacy and notably light on the unilateral use of U.S. power,” Obama’s foreign policy has produced a dramatic turn around in America’s image abroad, as Teixeira explains:

…From 2008 to 2009, favorability toward the United States increased in 21 of 24 nations, excluding the United States. This increase in favorability included double- digit rises in 11 nations: France (up 33 points), Germany (+33), Indonesia (+26), Spain (+25), Mexico (+22), Britain (+16), Argentina (+16), Nigeria (+15), Brazil (+14), Canada (+13), and India (+10).

The survey credits President Obama with leading the remarkable transformation, notes Teixeira, who cites:

…An enormous increase in the number of people internationally with a lot or some confidence that the U.S. president will do the right thing in world affairs. The median level of confidence in the U.S. president among the 21 countries surveyed in both 2008 and 2009 shifted from just 17 percent for Bush in 2008 to 71 percent for Obama in 2009.

Teixeira explains that the extraordinary transformation is attributable to two factors — Bush’s dismal performance in foreign affairs and President Obama’s exceptional credibility as a world leader. Says Teixeira: “It’s good to know that a progressive foreign policy has been able to repair some of this damage so quickly.”

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