Animadversions.

The weblog of Joshua Drescher

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Our Strongest Export - Obamania?

July 28th, 2008 · No Comments · Politics

A note to John McCain:

Stop mentioning Obama’s World Tour.

Drawing even more attention to a wildly successful outing by your opponent isn’t going to help you at all. And let’s just get that out of the way right off the bat - this WAS a wildly successful trip.

I’m not going to cite any hard data - polls, Daily Kos rants, pseudo-historical prognostication - to back this up. I assume you can find that stuff on your own. I’m just going to rely on my own response to it as someone who’s pretty skeptical of Obama’s pedigree and decidedly… well… undecided.

I travel abroad a lot - at least compared to most Americans - and as a result I’ve become relatively resistant to Foreign Whining about US policies. It’s hard to be subjected to routine hard-drinking nights out with the French and NOT develop a thick skin for complaints about American foreign policy. So I was surprised to find myself reflexively drawn to coverage of Obama overseas. Something inside of me responded strongly to the Rest of the World actually liking an American politician - probably because some ignorant, reptilian part of my brain believes that that affection will somehow magically extend to ME next time I’m across the pond.

Despite the GOP’s efforts to argue that “only the US dictates US policy” (which has, admittedly, been very effective over the preceding decade or so), I can’t help but think that even the Reddest of the Red Staters probably felt a twinge of warm, hopeful thawing in their cold, Grinch-like hearts at the thought of America taking a step back towards being a beloved member of the global community. Obama’s only stumble (and it was a minor one, at worst) was to not throw a public fit about not being allowed to visit wounded troops due to official US policy. McCain’s response to it was embarrassing and desperate, but I can see it having resonance in some circles.

So… kudos to Obama. He did Good Work over the past couple of weeks.

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