While Americans hope President-elect Barack Obama can live up to almost two years of hype, citizens around the world are hoping some of that “change” spills out in their direction.
Several global media outlets, including International Herald Tribune, Deutsche Welle and CBC, are running articles about what Obama’s victory means to their country and the world.
Obama knows his international expectations; he spoke with nine world leaders about the global economy and climate change soon after his victory.
For Americans, Obama’s triumph solidifies a new face and identity. For citizens around the world, his victory is a symbol of America’s renewal and rebirth.‚ People know the country needs a saviour after the Bush era.
Bush’s presidency changed America’s reputation among foreign countries. Before they were peacemakers, now they are despised in more places than ever.
To the public, his presidency will largely be defined by a war under false pretences, an incompetence that defies logic and now, an economic meltdown that is causing individuals and corporations alike to sink in ever deepening waters; waters Obama is expected to shallow.
Jason Rosenstiel, a dual-citizen with Israeli roots, believes Obama’s economic policy is much better than his former opponent’s.‚ “McCain’s idea to implement a spending freeze was crazy. Obama’s plans are much better, he can actually prevent this thing from getting worse around the globe.”
Rosenstiel also believes Obama’s relationships with world leaders will help define his presidency.‚ “He became friends with these leaders before even getting elected.‚ He made sure that if he did win, the pieces for change would be in place and that’s what will make him a great president. His ambition.”
While Obama’s win is historic, some are baffled.‚ How could a country that just four years ago re-elected a man so detested today, elect a man like Obama?
In all actuality, it makes sense.‚ The last time America went with the “safer” option, look what happened.
This time around, Americans took a chance, a chance on a candidate that is promising so much at a time when the United States has so little.
Even so, Rosenstiel has high hopes. “I truly hope he’s more than just a good president.‚ I hope he’s a world changer.”
Scheduled to be published in the Toronto Star next week.