We’re beginning to get a sense of how Barack Obama’s political success could change global perceptions of the United States, redefining the American “brand” to be less about Guantánamo and more about equality. This change in perceptions would help rebuild American political capital in the way that the Marshall Plan did in the 1950s or that John Kennedy’s presidency did in the early 1960s...A 22-nation survey by the BBC found that voters abroad preferred Mr. Obama to Mr. McCain in every single country by four to one over all. Nearly half of those in the BBC poll said that the election of Mr. Obama, an African-American, would “fundamentally change” their perceptions of the United States. Europe is particularly intoxicated by the possibility of restoring amity with America in an Obama presidency. As The Economist put it: “Across the Continent, Bush hatred has been replaced by Obama-mania.”
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