A reader writes:

I am an American who is a graduate student in the UK, and I have been congratulated by people from around the world over the past couple of days for the Obama nomination.  Strangers hear my accent, and want to talk about Obama.  One British person said, "America didn't become the nation it did with guns and tanks; it became the nation it did with ideas.  An Obama presidency represents everything that America has told the world about itself in the past century--and what the rest of the world wanted to expect out of America.  The idea that you talk before acting, the idea that you make friends, not enemies, and the idea that anything is possible." 

Another Italian told me, "Obama will cause my country to fall in love with America again."

Soft power?

Most Americans have not quite absorbed the enormous blow to America's image abroad delivered by the Bush administration. Obama has helped erase it already.

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