President Obama has been jetsetting across Europe charming crowds, world leaders, dealing with crises, and answering tough questions. It's been an excellent adventure for our nation's leader.
Thus far, with his trip to Turkey pending, President Obama has performed magnificently in restoring what was lost under the eight years of he who shall not be named. Obama has quickly put the Office of the President back in the rolodex of the rest of the world as an office that is interested in making allies and not losing them.
Under the previous administration, Europe slipped away from us a bit further, not geographically, but the Bush Administration found itself mired in politics. The "shoot first plan later" plan in Iraq was widely pooh-poohed by the rest of the world as the Iraqi War droned on and on. No sense in rehashing the past.
Obama has begun to lay the groundwork to work with our allies again. We are no longer the country that has earned the right to dictate our will. Because of the previous administration's reckless disregard for anything but its own interests, we lost our standing. People stopped listening to us. Therefore, our country's highest leaders adopted the old "with us or against us" policy.
On his first visit abroad, Obama has done an amazing job (to the consternation of conservatives) in saying that the United States and Europe can accomplish a lot more through our similarities and our common interests than through our differences. It wasn't a complete slam dunk, but Obama certainly made progress over there.
No. There was not an immediate genuflection from the Europeans. If I were them, I probably would remain a bit weary of the new guy. He is still new. But, I think that President Obama has made some holes in the isolation wall that President Bush built between our country and Europe.
French President Nicolas Sarkozy seemed to have done a 180 on Obama. Some reports in the past seemed to portray Sarkozy as someone highly skeptical of the new US leader. After meeting with him at the G20 Summit and in private, Sarkozy said, "I trust him. I don't need guarantees. I trust him. I trust his word. And I trust his intelligence."
Many derided Obama for his intelligence during the campaign. Sounds like it is working fine for him now. Certainly working better than that of the last guy.
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