Why the Rest of the World is Rooting for Barack Obama

Charles Kupchan on what Obama may mean for the rest of the world, throw away threat to bomb Pakistan not withstanding, in Reset Dialogues on Civilization:

How do you explain the fact that Obama seems to be the favourite of the “rest of the world”?

Part of it is that he would represent a new vision of the United States, one which is very multicultural and multiethnic. At a time in global politics in which globalization and migration are raising concerns about multiethnicity and social cohesion people would see Obama’s election as a sign of progress on that front. And also there is a widespread discontent with President Bush and its two terms in the White House and there is a belief – whether justified or not – that Obama would constitute the most significant change from the Bush years.

Do you agree with this belief?

I do. I think that Obama’s background and Obama’s instincts are likely to result in a more distinct foreign policy and form of government than that which would be brought forward by Hillary Clinton. I also think that he would be more successful in trying to bring together what remains of a much divided country.