Old World Thinks He's the Messiah

Looking for deliverance from Bush, Europeans could face rude shock
By Jason Farago,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 11, 2008 7:39 AM CDT
Angela Merkel, Nicolas Sarkozy and Gordon Brown are all planning to meet Barack Obama this month.   (AP Photo/Portuguese Presidency, ho)
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(Newser) – Barack Obama's trip to Europe this month might not do much for his electoral chances at home. But the Old World doesn't care, writes Financial Times columnist Philip Stephens; when the candidate arrives he "can expect to be greeted as a messiah." Europeans have been starstruck by Obama, and they seem to think that this November's election is little more than a formality.

At home, the election hinges on domestic matters—the economy, gas prices, health care—but Europeans imagine that the vote is a referendum on American foreign policy. They might be in for a rude awakening come 2009, when a President Obama still puts American interest s first. "The leader of what is still the world’s most powerful nation," writes Stephens, "will never think like a woolly postmodern European."