"The primaries showed that the U.S. is actually the nation we had believed it to be, a place that is open-minded enough to have a woman or an African American as its president," - Minoru Morita, a Tokyo political analyst.

The excitement the Democratic race has provoked abroad and the genuine enthusiasm the Obama candidacy generates in the developing world can only be a good sign for restoring some of the soft power squandered by the Bush administration. That was my hope last fall. So far, so good.

We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to the editor or write to letters@theatlantic.com.