How They See Obama Overseas

New Republic scribe dissects what the world thinks of Democratic candidate
By Jonas Oransky,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 16, 2008 3:19 PM CST
Democratic presidential hopeful Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., speaks at a town hall meeting at Iowa Central Community College in Fort Dodge, Iowa, on Monday, Nov. 19, 2007. Obama said Monday his childhood...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – It’s not just Americans who are weighing in on Barack Obama’s candidacy: The New Republic’s Antonio Vargas Llosa reads the tea leaves in overseas attitudes towards the potential first black president:

  • The European left is relatively mum, showing “a quiet shame” that mainstream America—often mocked for its racial discrimination—has a more open-minded attitude than the often-socialist Continent.

  • European conservatives are pleased, not believing that Obama will jerk policy too far left—and excited about a likely soft power transformation.
  • The Latin American right is jubilant, citing Obama's candidacy as a “reasonable way to bring about social change” within established government. As opposed, that is, to overhauling discriminatory systems with populist revolution.
  • Latin American lefties have been careful with their plaudits, not wanting Obama to provide too much good publicity for the US.