One of the theories offered in support of Barack Obama’s presidential candidacy was that he could boost America’s image around the world. “What does he offer?” asked Andrew Sullivan, when he was making the case for Obama in 2007. “First and foremost: his face. Think of it as the most effective potential re-branding of the United States since Reagan. Such a re-branding is not trivial — it’s central to an effective war strategy.”
Whether it’ll prove an effective war strategy is yet to be seen, but it’s undeniable that Obama was remarkably successful in pulling together international support for an intervention in Libya. The sign-off of the Arab League really was meaningful, even if their support is fragile. And perhaps part of the story of that sign-off can be found over at Gallup.com. They’ve just released the latest data from their polling project that “asks respondents in more than 100 countries each year whether they 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.” The improvement in global attitudes toward the United States since Obama’s election has been nothing short of remarkable:
In 2007, the world preferred the bureaucrats running the authoritarian Chinese government to the people in charge of the American government. Today, they don’t. In fact, they don’t prefer the leadership of any major power to ours. That’s a pretty effective rebranding.