Though President Obama's approval ratings have hit an all-time low at 47 percent, he has retained the support of one important demographic: foreign presidents. In separate interviews released this week, Russian President Dmitri Medvedev and French President Nicolas Sarkozy effusively praised Obama, lauding his openness to international dialogue and his affable manner.
In praising Obama, both presidents also took veiled shots at President Bush, whose relations with international leaders were far more contentious. Though Medvedev declined to "name anyone by name" and Sarkozy mentioned Bush only once, both presidents made it abundantly clear which American president they preferred. (See Wire coverage of Medvedev's shot at Bush here.)
Medvedev talks with ABC's George Stephanopoulos about speaking with Obama:
STEPHANOPOULOS: What do you make of Barack Obama the man?
MEDVEDEV: He's very comfortable partner, it's very interesting to be with him. The most important thing that distinguishes him from many other people -- I won't name anyone by name -- he's a thinker, he thinks when he speaks. Which is already pretty good.
STEPHANOPOULOS: You had somebody in your mind, I think. (LAUGHS)
MEDVEDEV: Obviously I do have someone on my mind. I don't want to offend anyone. He's eager to listen to his partner, which is a pretty good quality for a politician. Because any politician is to a certain degree a mentor. They preach something. And the ability to listen to their partner is very important for the politician. And he is pretty deeply emerged in the subject, so he has a good knowledge of what he's talking about. There was no instance in our meetings with Mr. Obama where he wasn't well prepared for the questions. This is very good. And after all, he's simply a very pleasant man with whom it's a pleasure to deal with.