A Black President Will Boost Brand USA

Electing Obama will replace America's battered image with one of equality
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 23, 2008 9:58 AM CDT
Supporters with an US flag cheer for Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., during his speech at the Victory Column in Berlin, Thursday, July 24, 2008.   (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
camera-icon View 6 more images

(Newser) – Skin color is no reason to vote for anybody, Nick Kristof writes in the New York Times, but there's no denying that electing a black president would give America's image abroad a much-needed boost—"redefining the American 'brand' to be less about Guantánamo and more about equality." Almost half of people abroad polled by the BBC said a President Obama would "fundamentally change their view of the US."

In nations where the image of a racist US holds sway, people find the concept of a black president so astonishing they may well drop their pre-conceived anti-American notions. "If this election goes as the polls suggest, we may find a path to restore America’s global influence—and thus to achieve some of our international objectives," Kristof writes, "in part because the world is concluding that Americans can, after all, see beyond a person’s epidermis."