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."