President Obama is several months into a second campaign: a bid to win the world’s approval. But what shapes his foreign policy? Michael Scherer outlines five key parts for Time:
- Pull from personal history: Obama has been pushing stories of his Indonesian childhood and Kenyan grandfather while overseas, and the message is clear: If I can do it, you can do it.
- Pull from the South Side: What he learned in Chicago is applicable in Russia, too—we have more commonalities than differences—and he's been singing that tune throughout his travels.
- Get real: Obama's pragmatism stands in contrast to President Bush's idealism, which, in many cases, means keeping the lines of communication open—as with his desire to talk to Iran's leaders in September.
- Be a team player: Sure, the US has the world's most powerful military and biggest GDP, but Obama tirelessly repeats his belief that the country's fate is directly tied to that of developing countries—which can sometimes play the leader.
- Youth matters: His pro-youth attitude extends beyond the US: From Moscow to Cairo, Obama has told the youth of the world, "yes, you can."