Electing John McCain would be a little like giving the rest of the world the finger, writes Guardian columnist Jonathan Freedland. Judging from international polls, “if the free world could choose its leader, it would be Barack Obama,” he writes. And if the US rejects a once-in-a-generation leader, prevailing anti-Bush sentiment will harden into anti-American hostility.
But absurdly, Obama’s worldwide popularity has become a liability, a sign he is an unpatriotic “candidate of Europe.” John McCain, who appears to share President Bush's scorn for the UN and the current international system, has no such problem. To elect him would “send the clearest possible message” to the world, writes Freedland, “and, make no mistake, we shall hear it.”