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Watching Obama’s inauguration overseas

Measuring expectations for President Barack Obama abroad

Obamania is at its peak, said the French daily Le Monde in an editorial. Washington is celebrating Barack Obama’s inauguration as the 44th president of the United States, and rarely has a leader “inspired so much hope before making a single decision.” It will be hard for Obama to live up to world’s expectations, but he’s above the narrow and ignorant patriotism of the team that came before him. And that’s a good start.

Improving on Bush won’t be hard, said Ignacio Camacho in the Spanish daily ABC. Obama may or may not be a good president, and he will surely have to swallow some of his promises as reality sets in. But he has shown himself to be a real leader who can awaken new expectations and unite people, and that gives him political capital few presidents possess.

"It is now a cliche to say that he must inevitably disappoint," said David Aaronovitch in Britain's The Times. But Obama "is not the Almighty"—he can expend political capital in the Middle East, but shouldn't having such a president allow other countries, "say Israel," to try new things, too? So before the rest of us around the world "pile our demands on the new president," maybe we should not ask what Obama can do for us, "but ask rather what we can do for Obama."

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