RSS
How the world sees Obama
What other countries expect from the U.S. president-elect
T

he American Dream has been reborn, said Le Monde, a French daily, in an editorial (translated by Google). After Barack Obama's election, "the joy of minorities, not just blacks but also Latinos, and of young people voting for the first time, shows the world that America may be changing." From Europe to Asia, people have high expectations for what this historic vote could mean.

Well, Europeans at least have been dreaming of “Obamaland” as “a temperate land of sunshine and showers, of soft music and plenitude, of conciliation and concord,” said Mary Dejevsky in Britain’s The Independent. But President Obama will act in America’s interests, not Europe’s, and the only certainty is that Obamaland “will not be as we imagine it.”

Sure, Europe’s “Obamamania” shows that “the American dream” hasn’t “died in Europe quite yet,” said Ian Buruma in Britain’s The Guardian, but that’s a good thing. Europe—where a black president or prime minister “is still unthinkable”—may “regard China’s rise with awe,” and want Russia’s oil, but Obama’s election reminds us that the U.S. still represents the best of “our battered western world.”

A lot of the world has been watching the U.S. election with “a mix of voyeurism and hope,” said The Indian Express in an editorial, because much of the dissatisfaction with “the world’s only superpower” hasn’t been “so much anti-Americanism, but exasperation” at Bush’s misuse of American power. Obama, with “the map of the world in his personal history,” is better situated to reverse that.

EDITORS' PICKS

THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER

Subscribe to the Week