erik lundegaard

'Doctor, Always Do the Right Thing': Confidence Abroad in Obama

Lately, Peter Beinart of The Atlantic has been hearing Dick Cheney and Karl Rove and other Bush alums spout off about America's standing in the world: how we have “strained relations with allies” (Rove) and how “the perception around the world is increasingly negative” (Cheney).

Don't even get me started on The Economist.

So Beinart did the Nate Silver thing and crunched the numbers. In his piece, “Is the World Really Losing Faith in Obama?” he realizes ... they're not:

“Again, the numbers come from Pew, which has been asking people in key countries every year whether they have 'confidence' in America’s president to 'do the right thing in world affairs.' Obama’s popularity is down since 2009. Still, in Mexico and Argentina, the president’s 2013 numbers (the most recent we have) are 33 percentage points higher than Bush’s in 2008. In South Korea, the margin is 47 points. In Japan, it’s 45 points. In Brazil, it’s 52 points. In Britain, it’s 56 points. In France, it’s 70 points. In Germany, it’s 74 points.

”In case you’re reading quickly, 74 points isn’t Obama’s approval rating in Germany. It’s the gap between his approval rating and Bush’s. In George W.’s final year in office, 14 percent of Germans had faith that the president of the United States would do the right thing internationally. Last year, 88 percent did.“

I love that 74-point gap. In Rotten Tomatoes' terms, that's basically the difference between Adam Sandler's ”Blended“ (14%/Bush) and the new ”Captain America" (89%/Obama).

Obama abroad in 2008

Obama in Europe in 2008. He still has an 88% approval rating in Germany vs. just 14% for Bush.

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Posted at 01:13 PM on Mon. Jun 02, 2014 in category Politics  
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