Obama lifts US image around world

US favorability ratings around the world, per Pew’s survey of 25 countries.

         2007   2009
US         80    88
Canada     55    68

Britain    51    69
France     39    75
Germany    30    64
Spain      34    58

Poland     61    67
Russia     41    44

Turkey      9    14
Egypt      21    27
Jordan     20    25
Lebanon    47    55
Palestine  13    15
Israel     78    71

China      34    47
India      59    76
Indonesia  29    63
Japan      61    59
Pakistan   15    16
S. Korea   58    78

Argentina  16    38
Brazil     44    61
Mexico     56    69

Kenya      87    90
Nigeria    70    79

I chose 2007 as the reference year since it was the last year that the United States was unabashedly Bush’s (2008 was a transitional election year). Pew has data for most years this decade, click on the link above to see that data.

The image of the United States has improved markedly in most parts of the world, reflecting global confidence in Barack Obama. In many countries opinions of the United States are now about as positive as they were at the beginning of the decade before George W. Bush took office. Improvements in the U.S. image have been most pronounced in Western Europe, where favorable ratings for both the nation and the American people have soared. But opinions of America have also become more positive in key countries in Latin America, Africa and Asia, as well.

Signs of improvement in views of America are seen even in some predominantly Muslim countries that held overwhelmingly negative views of the United States in the Bush years. The most notable increase occurred in Indonesia, where people are well aware of Obama’s family ties to the country and where favorable ratings of the U.S. nearly doubled this year. However for the most part, opinions of the U.S. among Muslims in the Middle East remain largely unfavorable, despite some positive movement in the numbers in Jordan and Egypt. Animosity toward the U.S., however, continues to run deep and unabated in Turkey, the Palestinian territories and Pakistan.

Israel stands out in the poll as the only public among the 25 surveyed where the current U.S. rating is lower than in past surveys.

Pew’s polling indicates that Obama’s Cairo speech was ill-received in Israel, hence his flagging numbers in that country, but most everywhere else — and in particular in Western Europe — the world is giving us a big pat on the back for electing Obama. And this isn’t just a feel-good stat. Our nation’s increased standing in the world has repercussions on a whole host of American interests, from economic to military.

Only Republicans cherish pariah status.

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