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> Obama, the World, and Expectations, Are they too high?
BecomingHuman
post Nov 9 2008, 07:32 PM
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Despite knowing Obama's strong worldwide support, I must say I was taken aback a bit by the worldwide response to his victory.

What do I mean? Well, Kenya, on the Wednesday after the election, created a national holiday in honor of Obama, despite him not having taken office yet. Antiguans changed the name of their highest mountain, Boggy peak, to Mount Obama, and anti-American president Hugo Chavez wants to sit down and talk with the "Black man".

Bloomberg does a nice round-up:
QUOTE(UK)
They did it. They really did it. So often crudely caricatured by others, the American people yesterday stood in the eye of history and made an emphatic choice for change for themselves and the world. Savour those words: President Barack Obama, America's hope and, in no small way, ours too.

QUOTE(France)
The new President has transcended tensions to achieve the essential: balancing black resentment and white anxieties, and uniting them in a single design for justice. After having elected George W. Bush two times, in an incredible turn of boldness and faith in its own resources, America has put an end to its conservative revolution made from deregulation and the wild law of the market which resulted in the sub-prime crisis and the collapse of the financial system.

QUOTE(Argentina)
While this is without a doubt a moment of great happiness, at the same time we should remember those men and women that made the greatest sacrifice, their lives, in the fight for an equal society,'' Argentine President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner said in a letter to Obama. ``I'm sure many veterans of those days have been reflecting on the words of Reverend King: `I have a dream that my four small children will someday live in a country where they aren't judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their characters.' This day has arrived

QUOTE(Peru)
I thank God for having lived to see that we have a U.S. president of color,'' said Yehude Simon, Peru's prime minister. ``Peru wins with the change; it's a change that we all expected. God help us he won't fail us, that all his proposals during the campaign can be real.''


There are literally dozens more referenced in the article. It ends on an ominous note from German ambassador Wolfgang Ischinger:
QUOTE
That's the good news. The bad news is that this outburst of Obama-mania does create expectations which no president can possibly fulfill. Sooner or later there will be some disappointment on the way.''


Questions for Debate:
1. From your perspective, are expectations for the Obama Presidency too high, too low, or just right?

2. What does an Obama Presidency mean for the world and is that in line with what people are hoping for?

3. If there is a substantial Obama euphoria, is it a net asset or a net liability?

This post has been edited by BecomingHuman: Nov 9 2008, 07:32 PM
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turnea
post Nov 9 2008, 07:47 PM
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From your perspective, are expectations for the Obama Presidency too high, too low, or just right?
About right.

What the international community craves is a different style and approach from that of GWB

I suspect Obama can deliver on that, if he does he'll meet expectations.

Easier than it looks.

If there is a substantial Obama euphoria, is it a net asset or a net liability?
Definite asset.

It become harder to demonize America and will therefore cause people is places like Iran, Russia, etc. to think about their own leaders and hopefully give them the boot.
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Dontreadonme
post Nov 9 2008, 07:57 PM
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1. From your perspective, are expectations for the Obama Presidency too high, too low, or just right?

Most definitely too high. While Obama may represent a breath of fresh air and has broken a racial barrier, he is still a cog in the party machinery. He will still spend an inordinate amount of time, effort and tax dollars in the pursuit of advancing Democratic Party agenda as a bulwark to the Republican Party agenda. The instrument has changed, but the song remains the same.

2. What does an Obama Presidency mean for the world and is that in line with what people are hoping for?

People the world over, and hopefully more than a few Americans, are expecting that after the last eight years, our practices will start to represent our principles. That we will again start to act like the beacon of freedom and democracy that we sometimes strive to be and that our founders had intended us to be. The expectation will be that in foreign policy decisions, Obama will look at what is in the interest of all parties, not strictly what is in the interest of the US and US corporations. That expectation will be short lived.

3. If there is a substantial Obama euphoria, is it a net asset or a net liability?

Right or wrong, in the eyes of most of the world, we could have elected a chess playing computer and have it be a net asset. There will be a honeymoon phase in the first few months of the Obama presidency; it's already begun. Sooner or later we'll treat another nation like an abused spouse and it will be back to the same as it ever was.
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turnea
post Nov 9 2008, 08:08 PM
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I suspect that people are misreading the enthusiasm of the international community and reading into what they want.

They are mostly happy that Obama won and McCain lost because Obama is not like Bush. Period.

His race is also an issue, but mostly rhetorically as they likely feel they'd be amiss in not mentioning the first.

Are they looking for miracles?

Not really, they are looking to avoid disasters.

They aren't so much looking for Obama to do for them and not to do to them.

If he can avoid bombing too many new countries, he'll be on a good start.

These are ardent expectations, but actually a rather low bar.

This post has been edited by turnea: Nov 9 2008, 08:08 PM
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moif
post Nov 9 2008, 08:19 PM
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1. From your perspective, are expectations for the Obama Presidency too high, too low, or just right?

Too high.


2. What does an Obama Presidency mean for the world and is that in line with what people are hoping for?

There is no single perspective on Barack Obama. To some he is the herald of a global revolution (see your own examples for the hyperbole) and for others he is merely another American president, only this time with dark skin.


3. If there is a substantial Obama euphoria, is it a net asset or a net liability?

It is probably a liability in the long run because Barack Obama is not likely going to put the world in front of his own country's vital interests. Sure he'll meet with Chavez and a whole host of other such left wing blow hard tyrants and terrorist sympathisers, but I will be very surprised if this yields any credible result. Obama will discover for himself just why these people are such a problem.


QUOTE(turnea)
What the international community craves is a different style and approach from that of GWB
No. What the international community craves is economic stability, global peace, America signing Kyoto and an end to oil dependency. And thats just the main stream cravings. The extremists want even more from Obama, and they are fully expecting him to pull American troops out of Iraq and Afghanistan, to shut down Guantanamo Bay and to cancel the missile sheld bases in Poland and the Czech Republic. Whats more, they are expecting these things within months of Obama taking office.

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turnea
post Nov 9 2008, 08:24 PM
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QUOTE(moif @ Nov 9 2008, 02:19 PM) *
QUOTE(turnea)
What the international community craves is a different style and approach from that of GWB
No. What the international community craves is economic stability, global peace, America signing Kyoto and an end to oil dependency. And thats just the main stream cravings. The extremists want even more from Obama, and they are fully expecting him to pull American troops out of Iraq and Afghanistan, to shut down Guantanamo Bay and to cancel the missile sheld bases in Poland and the Czech Republic. Whats more, they are expecting these things within months of Obama taking office.

Well of course I could be wrong, but I'm sitting right now watching a call in show on C-Span with representatives of Al-Jazeera and The Economist and listening to them take calls from around the world. (and from the US of course.. if you've ever watched C-Span you know what I mean)

I don't hear any expectations for a complete about-face of American policy. Gitmo may be an exception, a lot of people want it closed and soon.

..but do people really expect a pullout of Afghanistan when all Obama has been talking about is a higher focus on Afghanistan?

I'm aware people don't pay attention but I have my doubts if they've gone entirely off the deep end.

This post has been edited by turnea: Nov 9 2008, 08:28 PM
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moif
post Nov 9 2008, 08:39 PM
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turnea

As I said, there is no single perspective on Barack Obama. All those examples I cited are examples I've heard repeated, and many repeated just today (listening to BBC radio 4 online). I actually left out some of the more ridiculous examples, such as Obama impeaching GW Bush.
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AuthorMusician
post Nov 9 2008, 08:51 PM
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1. From your perspective, are expectations for the Obama Presidency too high, too low, or just right?

Mine's about right. I expect to witness a lot of filibustering by the Republican minority, being as this is all that's left of the power squandered on Iraq and running an administration by means of secrecy, fear and gosh awful surprises that seemed to be spaced apart in an agenda to rip away checks and balances in the republic, including civil rights.

I expect that effort to go away.

Regarding health care, I expect some headway into this but no real solution for years to come.

Regarding science R&D, my expectation is that an Obama administration will feed more money into R&D that an overly anti-science crowd had fought.

Regarding alternative energy, I expect more from Obama than any other president, except for possibly Carter. If Obama exceeds Carter's efforts on this, I will have my expectations exceeded.

Regarding national defense, I expect that Obama will get the hell out of Iraq and concentrate the remaining resources on actual homeland security, not some hairbrained notion of world domination. My expectation is that the PNAC will become just a good ol' boys club. I'm prepared to be disappointed on this because we are talking some pretty big players -- lots of lobbying and filibustering.

Regarding the economy . . . gad, who knows? There's only so much a president can do. I have low expectations on this because we don't have a dictatorship. We might end up owning a good portion of Corporate America because nobody else wants it. Socialism by abandonment. Then what?

What might happen if bureau-catz control what fat-catz screwed up? And it's not from revolution but from fire sales? Can't think of an historical similarity on this, so it could be a New Thing in the world. We'd have to think up an appropriate name. New Deal's been taken. New Change is redundant. Capitaloscilism is too weird. Socio-capitalism sounds like a mental illness. White Elephant is just mean. Gonna have to sleep on it.

2. What does an Obama Presidency mean for the world and is that in line with what people are hoping for?

Overall, the world is proud of the US electorate to have changed the course of a mighty nation. I'm pretty proud of it. As for what changes I'm hoping for, at least we're going to try. That's better than lending lip service and never doing anything about the problems, except making things worse with changes that benefit corporations more than citizens. Thinking the prescription drug fiasco here.

But what if the meaning of corporation changes to something not ever seen before on the face of the earth?

3. If there is a substantial Obama euphoria, is it a net asset or a net liability?

There was a couple of euphoric days. Can't blame anyone for that -- seemed like such a long shot for so long. No election returns controversies to speak of. Declaration of an Obama win early on in the evening. No rioting. A lot of bummed-out Republicans.

Can't say that I had or have Obama euphoria. It's more like an ongoing pleasure buzz, a body high rather than a heady woo-hoo rush. I'm glad that the Bush admin is working on moving day rather than the next ungodly surprise, like suspending the Constitution to keep power . . .

Naw, they couldn't do that. It'd be a reversed military coup, a booting out of the admin on the way out. An eviction mrsparkle.gif

Actually, that'd be pretty entertaining.

This post has been edited by AuthorMusician: Nov 9 2008, 08:55 PM
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metropolitical
post Nov 9 2008, 10:21 PM
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1. From your perspective, are expectations for the Obama Presidency too high, too low, or just right?
It is difficult enough to speak generally about one's own country's expectations, much less that of the entire world. Obviously different groups of people have their own specific agendas. Therefore you can not establish with any reasonable confidence, a single expectation other than the obvious: to "clean house" and remove the party most associated with the failed foreign and economic policies of the last 8 years.

In that respect, the election was an expression of poetic irony, it was "mission accomplished". Therefore, such an expectation was "just right", since it was satisfied. But I doubt many are under the illusion that the road to recovery will be short or a milk run, especially since Obama has said as much, even evoking the cadence and promise of Martin Luther King's civil rights rhetoric in his victory speech as a metaphor:
QUOTE(Barack Obama)
The road ahead will be long. Our climb will be steep. We may not get there in one year or even one term, but America -- I have never been more hopeful than I am tonight that we will get there. I promise you -- we as a people will get there.
He is correct in one thing, we are at the brink of a cataclysmic recession. Using the marching rhetoric of an impoverished minority to encourage what may be a newly impoverished majority was apropos, if not brilliant. The broadly felt underdog sensibilities today do not come from being a chronically ostracized minority within our own country, but as a growing pariah in the world community, and from the growing impoverishment of the majority.

Therefore, the "promised land" here is that of renewed world admiration and domestic prosperity. And it will certainly be a struggle of similarly great proportions. But like King, one wonders if in two terms he will end up with a similarly tragic epilogue:
QUOTE(Martin Luther King)
I've seen the promised land. I may not get there with you. But I want you to know..., that we, as a people, will get to the promised land.

2. What does an Obama Presidency mean for the world and is that in line with what people are hoping for?
I suspect most of the worldwide celebration probably follows along the general expectation which was satisfied by simply the election itself: to remove the party whose ideology was believed to be the most responsible for the world-wide anti-American sentiment of the last 4-8 years. Moreover to many people, the election of Obama also symbolizes the ability of Americans to ignore the torrent of racial taunts and religious paranoias, and to rise unexpectedly above divisive rhetoric and superficial bias. We, as a people, are not what others had thought we had become.

3. If there is a substantial Obama euphoria, is it a net asset or a net liability?Goodwill is usually a net asset. It always has been historically, and there is no reason to believe any different today. Goodwill is married to optimism, so perhaps there will be some offspring economic benefit as well.

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quick
post Nov 10 2008, 06:56 PM
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QUOTE(BecomingHuman @ Nov 9 2008, 02:32 PM) *
Despite knowing Obama's strong worldwide support, I must say I was taken aback a bit by the worldwide response to his victory.

What do I mean? Well, Kenya, on the Wednesday after the election, created a national holiday in honor of Obama, despite him not having taken office yet. Antiguans changed the name of their highest mountain, Boggy peak, to Mount Obama, and anti-American president Hugo Chavez wants to sit down and talk with the "Black man".

Bloomberg does a nice round-up:
QUOTE(UK)
They did it. They really did it. So often crudely caricatured by others, the American people yesterday stood in the eye of history and made an emphatic choice for change for themselves and the world. Savour those words: President Barack Obama, America's hope and, in no small way, ours too.

QUOTE(France)
The new President has transcended tensions to achieve the essential: balancing black resentment and white anxieties, and uniting them in a single design for justice. After having elected George W. Bush two times, in an incredible turn of boldness and faith in its own resources, America has put an end to its conservative revolution made from deregulation and the wild law of the market which resulted in the sub-prime crisis and the collapse of the financial system.

QUOTE(Argentina)
While this is without a doubt a moment of great happiness, at the same time we should remember those men and women that made the greatest sacrifice, their lives, in the fight for an equal society,'' Argentine President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner said in a letter to Obama. ``I'm sure many veterans of those days have been reflecting on the words of Reverend King: `I have a dream that my four small children will someday live in a country where they aren't judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their characters.' This day has arrived

QUOTE(Peru)
I thank God for having lived to see that we have a U.S. president of color,'' said Yehude Simon, Peru's prime minister. ``Peru wins with the change; it's a change that we all expected. God help us he won't fail us, that all his proposals during the campaign can be real.''


There are literally dozens more referenced in the article. It ends on an ominous note from German ambassador Wolfgang Ischinger:
QUOTE
That's the good news. The bad news is that this outburst of Obama-mania does create expectations which no president can possibly fulfill. Sooner or later there will be some disappointment on the way.''


Questions for Debate:
1. From your perspective, are expectations for the Obama Presidency too high, too low, or just right?

2. What does an Obama Presidency mean for the world and is that in line with what people are hoping for?

3. If there is a substantial Obama euphoria, is it a net asset or a net liability?


1) Too high, and I suspect, wrong: Having recently had a discussion with a black lady from Europe via Africa, now living in the USA, I can say she seems to think the rest of the world doesn't understand that our Const is supposed to mandate a limited govt (and frankly, most people under 50 don't either, but....) ; our Const is not supposed to mandate a global welfare state funded by the USA; and that the American people don't really seek out global domination, and that we are still, at heart, fairly isolationist, even if our leaders are always butting into others' business.

--One article says, "There are rumours that if Barack Obama doesn’t win the presidential election, there will be riots in Kenya again. But, judging by opinion polls, Kenya can look forward to an era of prosperity with one of their sons in charge of the United States. " [italics mine] Kenyans looking for a handout. http://www.saudigazette.com.sa/index.cfm?m...D=2008110220849. Well, all of those who voted against Obama feared this, we all know about Obama's pledge to give a significant portion of US GDP annually to the UN to assist Africa, but is this what Americans' really want?

--"If Africa wants to enhance their chances during Obama presidency, they should not just wait for Obama hand-outs, but employ the manners of effective cultivation of relationships to access the resources of US. Available statistics show that African governments are the least effective in lobbying US government and when they do, they often use the wrong approach. " More handouts wanted....http://www.africanexecutive.com/modules/magazine/articles.php?article=3745&magazine=201

--In a BBC poll that encompassed the views of global citizens from 22 countries, all 22 countries suggested in overwhelming numbers that Barack Obama would be their preferred victor, with 17 of the 22 countries showing the belief that an Obama presidency would help improve relations between the United States and the rest of the world. An average of 49% of those polled in all 22 countries supported Sen. Obama as the victor, contrasted with 12% supporting McCain as the eventual victor, a gap that speaks for itself.

What does this mean? It means these nations want the USA to fall into line and do what the "world community" expects it to do. Ouch. So much for a magnificient detachment.

---"Americans were split (45% favor, 50% oppose) on the idea of allowing the United Nations "to fund its activities by imposing a small tax on such things as the international sale of arms or oil." (The U.N. currently depends entirely on contributions from member governments.) " Wow. So those years of UN management of US school curricula has turned us into victims of "change". I could not imagine any thinking citizen of the US wanting a UN tax and a UN "world" government, submitting ourselves to the rule of the other 97% of the globe's population (kinda sucks to be a 3% minority when voting time comes). But, we have let the UN flood our schools...

http://usforeignpolicy.about.com/od/united...ns/a/unpoll.htm http://www.newswithviews.com/Pratt/larry9.htm

I doubt Obama in four years can destroy what's left of our nationalism, and I doubt he'll let Kenya have everything they want. So, world expectations are too high. But, to expect these things at all is just plain wrong, at least if you are an American. Where is our national self-interest???

2) I think I answered this query in #1.

3) There is always some euphoria after an election--all is fresh and new and expectations run wild, untempered by the cold, harsh light of day. The euphoria will fade; it always does. There is no way any president can be everything to everyone.

This post has been edited by quick: Nov 10 2008, 06:58 PM
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Ted
post Nov 10 2008, 07:05 PM
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QUOTE
1. from your perspective, are expectations for the Obama Presidency too high, too low, or just right?

Way too high. On energy alone it will be impossible to become “energy independent” unless we do, as T Bone Pickens suggested, everything including drilling where the oil is – and the Dems, not in control, are ready to shut that down.

He seems to be heading for solutions for the economy based on Keynesian economic principles – that failed miserable in the Depression – esp. public works projects.


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post Nov 14 2008, 02:40 AM
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If you were taken aback by the reaction around the world it's because, you didn't realize how far you strayed and how symbolic that has been. The somewhat more thinking part of the world (I'm referring to those who realize that American presidents do change their lives in a direct manner), has always realized that Americans were no angels, but Bush has taken it to a whole new level. To Europeans and others, especially South Americans, it has seemed that Bush went the way of the (invariably rightwing) dictatorships they have known all too well. You guys kicked Democracy out the window, maybe not legally, but surely ideologically. It was like you were saying: Democracy, it's a nice toy for kids, a childs idealistic dream, but it's not for us now that "were under attack"


1. From your perspective, are expectations for the Obama Presidency too high, too low, or just right?
about right. That said, he will surely disappoint even those who are the realistic about his political abilities.

2. What does an Obama Presidency mean for the world and is that in line with what people are hoping for?
America's return to the family of Nations. Make no mistake: If it had been Clinton or Edwards, it would have been exactly that, too.
What he should do is:
Close Gitmo
Make America greener.
Kick Lieberman
Stop Paulson buying up banks for twice they're worth.
Laugh about Repubs mocking him.

3. If there is a substantial Obama euphoria, is it a net asset or a net liability?
Believe you me, all this mocking about "Obama euphoria" won't take away that we are happy, and that his election, not the man himself, will put a smile on our face, for a long time to come.
It's like having your team win a difficult game. In the end, it won't affect you in a real sense, but it makes you feel quite good.
The Obama bonus in Europe will be that the left wing will support more troops in Afghanistan. I think I will change my vote to a more centrist line, to accomplish such. And many on the left will feel the weight of responsibility. Americans have done their part to get out of this mess, we have to do ours.


What nobody expects from him (except repubs who think we're as stupid as they are):
= End racism in the USA Jan 21st, 2009
= End racism in the rest of the world, Jan 22nd, 2009
= Create enough jobs for everybody.
= Make the price of oil structurally lower within a year
= Bring about World Peace
etc. etc.


Basically, go to any repub blog, and look at all the stuff they're bitterly clinging to, mocking Obama is one of those things. NONE of the things they are mocking Obama for, are things we're expecting him to do.


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QUOTE(moif @ Nov 9 2008, 10:39 PM) *
turnea

As I said, there is no single perspective on Barack Obama. All those examples I cited are examples I've heard repeated, and many repeated just today (listening to BBC radio 4 online). I actually left out some of the more ridiculous examples, such as Obama impeaching GW Bush.


Of course there's a single perspective on him: He's a normal politician, meaning indeed: he's not Bush/Cheney.The fact that he's black says more about white Americans than about him as a person.

This is not the first time in 8 years that America is popular around the globe, it's the first time since WW2.
Anti-americanism was low when Clinton waged the selfless war of Bosnia (albeit a remote control war), but it was still there.
But it was high during Johnson, from then on till bush sr.

Repubs STILL live in Dreamland, you guys have a long way to go.

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QUOTE(Ted @ Nov 10 2008, 09:05 PM) *
Way too high. On energy alone it will be impossible to become “energy independent” unless we do, as T Bone Pickens suggested, everything including drilling where the oil is – and the Dems, not in control, are ready to shut that down.

He seems to be heading for solutions for the economy based on Keynesian economic principles – that failed miserable in the Depression – esp. public works projects.


1. Domestic Oil will be enough for 3 years, and that's that. Learn how to do math.
Pickens isn't exactly impartial on this.
2. Keynisian economics DID NOT fail! They were simply strenghtened by the war effort. It was a win-win situation.
And even if: those were the 30s. In the 21st century, deregulation miserably failed ALREADY. Wanting some more of the same ... it's so profoundly stupid. The repubes have battered wife syndrome on this one.


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post Jan 17 2009, 06:00 PM
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This thread has been on the back-burner for awhile, but I thought a recent CBS poll warranted its update:
QUOTE(CBS)
As for the man who is replacing him, President-elect Obama is coming into office with astonishingly high expectations. Twenty-eight percent say they think Mr. Obama will be a very good president and 40 percent think he will be a good president, according to the poll. Twenty percent say he will be an average president and four percent say he will be a poor president.

QUOTE(CBS)
The combined sixty-eight percent overall who say Mr. Obama will be a good or very good president is 25 points higher than expectations for Mr. Bush in January 2001, when 43 percent said they thought he would be a good or very good president.

CBS Poll: High Expectations For Obama
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post Jan 19 2009, 02:32 PM
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1. From your perspective, are expectations for the Obama Presidency too high, too low, or just right?
Way too high.
2. What does an Obama Presidency mean for the world and is that in line with what people are hoping for?
We will come out of the recession under Obama and the world benefits from this. The expectation imo is that Obama has some secret clue to peace in the ME (never happen) and will deal with other world crisis that Bush would not touch – Like Africa.

I fully expect to see American troops in Africa within 2 years.

3. If there is a substantial Obama euphoria, is it a net asset or a net liability?

A wash. We need the positive attitude many now have – lets see how long it lasts.

It may hollow out as people realize the “change” promised (whatever that meant) is not coming. We hear “no more earmarks” and then in the next breath calls for over a Trillion $$$$$ in spending – most on projects that will not even start before the recession is over. ohmy.gif
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Eeyore
post Jan 19 2009, 03:44 PM
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1. From your perspective, are expectations for the Obama Presidency too high, too low, or just right?

They are too high.

2. What does an Obama Presidency mean for the world and is that in line with what people are hoping for?

An Obama preisdency for those who are gleeful Obamaniacs have many different reasons for being euphoric. Internationally many hope for dramatic reversals of Bush policies. They will for the most part be disappointed, but maybe their pro-Obama bias will see dramatic differences when they are mild.

I believe there will be a more internationalist approach that focuses more on dialogue and a multilateral method as opposed to a more nationalist unilateral style.

For some regions of the world this will provide some intabgible benefits of goodwill.

3. If there is a substantial Obama euphoria, is it a net asset or a net liability?

It is both. But during a period in which there is disphoria and fear is pulling down the collective value of the international economy, a little irrational optimism may be just the odd remedy to some of our problesm sans substance.

Of course, the high expectations of the Obamatics will lead to anger at shortcomings or unrealized expectations. They can become a yoke and sooner rather than later.
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Diabolita23
post Jan 22 2009, 06:23 PM
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1. From your perspective, are expectations for the Obama Presidency too high, too low, or just right?

I think everyone has different expectations, but according to mine he's so far just right.

2. What does an Obama Presidency mean for the world and is that in line with what people are hoping for?

My favorite part of the inauguration speech "For we know that our patchwork heritage is a strength, not a weakness. We are a nation of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus--and non-believers. We are shaped by every language and culture, drawn from every end of this Earth; and because we have tasted the bitter swill of civil war and segregation, and emerged from that dark chapter stronger and more united, we cannot help but believe that the old hatreds shall someday pass; that the lines of tribe shall soon dissolve; that as the world grows smaller, our common humanity shall reveal itself; and that America must play its role in ushering in a new era of peace."

That totally resonated with me because as I said above I've been reading Thinking Big and one of the essays is on our responsibility to re-join the world. I would state my feelings about this - and about our responsibility to show the world how to live peacefully and with tolerance - but Obama basically said it better than I ever could.

I feel like in addition to Obama's straight message to different parts of the world - the strategies in the essay about rejoining the world are ones I would echo: repair our relationship with the UN, protect our common environment (pass the TRADE act!), establish global food security - these are the things I think the US needs to do to regain the world's trust.


3. If there is a substantial Obama euphoria, is it a net asset or a net liability?

Asset. We need a pick-me-up.
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post Jan 22 2009, 10:40 PM
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1. From your perspective, are expectations for the Obama Presidency too high, too low, or just right?
I agree with Turnea about this. Most world sources seem just to be happy that we have a guy that won't mess with them as much. From a domestic perspective, I don't think that policy expectations are all that high. Mere competence would be a dramatic change for the better. From what I can tell, the biggest change everyone wanted has already happened.

2. What does an Obama Presidency mean for the world and is that in line with what people are hoping for?
I think the world just wants America to get out of its juvenile sense of righteousness and grow up.

3. If there is a substantial Obama euphoria, is it a net asset or a net liability?
This question assumes there will be an Obama vacuum once the "honeymoon" is over. There should be plenty of Obama in the coming months -- not to sustain the euphoria but to replace it with something hopefully more productive. And I suspect that anyone who gets in the way will be seen as obstructionist.
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Hobbes
post Jan 22 2009, 11:09 PM
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1. From your perspective, are expectations for the Obama Presidency too high, too low, or just right?

What are expectations for the Obama Presidency? Even domestically, this is difficult to pin down, and I can't see how it would suddenly become clearer in foreign countries. Those things you cite here point to they're being glad for change, but I don't know that there have been specific expectations of exactly what change made.

2. What does an Obama Presidency mean for the world and is that in line with what people are hoping for?

What does any American Presidency mean for the world? This statement is rampant with the hypocrisy with which America is viewed... damned for our influence, while simultaneously expecting (demanding) the same. The 'world' would do better if they could make up their danged mind, and start taking care of their own issues, and stop looking to us to do it for them.

Again... I'm not sure exactly what they're hoping for. Obama will do well indeed just to deal with domestic issues. If the world expects more than that, I have one question: Why? Isn't our meddling in their affairs they very thing they're usually wanting us NOT to do?

3. If there is a substantial Obama euphoria, is it a net asset or a net liability?

Both. It is an asset that can be used to enact change, but it is, as the questions here suggest, also probably created by an enfair set of expectations which will be difficult, if not impossible, to meet, which might cause the euphoria to come crashing down. Obama certainly seems a very capable leader, but he is also just one man, and there's only so much one man, even President of the United States, can do. The 'world' should realize this. What will happen when the reality of global issues meet with these global expectations? What will happen when one group's expectations conflict directly with another's (as many of them do)? Obama can't fix the world, and he'll be lucky just to take care of the U.S.

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