Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Analysis - It’s all about perception – Obama Supporters Concered About Domestic Impact of recent Euro Tour

An article from the Los Angeles Times suggests that some of Obama’s supporters may perceive his recent tours overseas as a disconnect with the problems of regular Americans. On the one hand, they worry that his continual travel (he’s off to the Caribbean and Mexico next week), might upset those who feel there is more need for the president to stay put while the country is in an ever deepening cycle of economic misery (see Carter), while on the other hand, Obama is restoring the Worlds appreciation of America.

One must understand that it is the President’s job (or, more appropriately, the Secretary of State), to meet with his international counterparts from time to time; whether it be for a “dog and pony” show, such as the G-20, or not. Timing is not always convenient, especially to the one holding the office. The fact that the President is abroad representing the United States has little to do with his stagnant job approval ratings; those numbers are dismal due to domestic decisions made since January 20, 2009.

As to the Presidents mending the image of the United States, one would have to pick their poison, so to speak. On the one hand, American’s were reviled abroad when Bush was President, but respected. The European Press maligned Bush, simply because his policy and personal believes were in direct opposition to the liberal ideology of the same. That said, when push came to shove, he took no quarter and defended the United State of America at every turn.

On Obama’s recent trip to Europe, he was said to be extremely popular, saying what he felt would make the Europeans' like him more, going so far as to apologize for America's "arrogant and dismissive" attitude towards the world.(This did not sit well on the home front.) He went seeking support from the G-20 participants on several levels and was summarily ignored. His request for more aid to the U.S. in Afghanistan was a bust with the Euro powers that be offering up only 5,000 troops. On the economic side, Germany and France, refused to pump endless trillions into additional stimulus package. Richard, Sisk, at the New York Daily News put it best: “Other heads of state found in President Obama a guy who could take "No" for an answer Thursday at the world economic summit, and that's what they liked best.” Additionally, some in the British Press, commented on his oratory skills, much applauded here and abroad (when teleprompters are in use), - as being less than stellar.
Therefore, the Obama supporters who are concerned about Domestic perception of the President’s trip should worry more about the new perception that the current “Leader of the Free World” is a wishy-washy, clumsy clod (the later in response to the greeting with the Queen of England). This may lead countries that were not in attendance at the G-20, such as Iran, or organizations such as the Taliban and Al Qaeda, to believe that they now have an invitation to do as they might like. The Paper Tiger is back.

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