While in England visiting a few friends, US politics inevitably came to the forefront of conversation. "I don’t think the Brits or the Europeans will speak to you again if you elect another Republic," my friend said to me. Imitating the situation we might encounter if a Republican was to take the election in November, "Hello? What was it you said, I’m sorry, can’t hear you."

Simply put, the US needs to redeem itself. The country seems even sillier when looked at from abroad. Having left the US at this critical juncture, with primaries and hopefulness for the future abound, I have been paying much more attention to the international media coverage of the wavering "super" power that is my home country.
While coverage depends where you are, what you’re reading and whether or not you have enough money to buy this weeks Economist, after careful reading and consideration, I have arrived with some rebuttals and some conclusions of my own.
A recent International Herald Tribune editorial, "Looking for an America we can recognize again" (Sat-Sun Jan 12-13, 2008), argues "the next president will have a full agenda simply discovering all the wrongs that have been done and then righting them," indeed.
The editorial adds that, "we can only hope that this time, unlike 2004, American voters will have the wisdom to grant the awesome powers of the presidency to someone who has the integrity, principle and decency to use them honorably." We can also hope that a different family takes the reigns in the next election, as lately we have been looking more like a monarchy with a strange marriage of Bush and Clinton.
In The Economist (January 12, 2008) "Charlemagne: Those naïve American voters, What Europeans make of Iowa and New Hampshire," The author looks at how the primary elections are being covered in Europe: "A French newspaper, Liberation, said that the arrival in the White House of ‘a black man, married to a black woman [with] a black family’ would be an act of ‘atonement’ that would restore the image of an America ‘shunned in every corner of the planet.’ The German tabloid, Bild, offered praise for Mr Obama’s ‘sexy’ charms, under the headline: ‘This Black American Will Become the New Kennedy.’"
The same article also quoted a Belgian newspaper, Le Soir, which seemed hopeful after Obama’s Iowa win that "this time, Americans will not be duped" and argued that perhaps U.S. citizens are now seeking "leaders with convictions." However, as The Economist notes, their optimism is not without naivety, "who is going to complain after the dark years of Bush junior?"
The US needs Obama because, unlike Clinton he consistently opposed the Iraq war. He takes a position on climate change, which is more than can be said for the current junior in power who wavers as to whether or not science is in fact factual. Obama has called for closing Guantanamo and he has expressed outrage at the federal response in the wake of Hurricane Katrina.
According to The Economist, Obama has also recognized the European Union as one of the most important allies. In The Economist’s, "Has the magical mystery tour hit the buffers?"  Obama is still recognized as "the shiniest star in the political firmament," despite the few percentage points lost in New Hampshire. He has "rewritten the terms of the 2008 race" making it not just about becoming representational figure, but about change, reconciliation and hope.
Obama is himself a global citizen, as The Economist says, his own story "speaks directly to America’s sense of itself as a land of opportunity and upward mobility," even if the American dream is a fallacy these days.
As an occasional volunteer for Obama’s campaign, it is a grassroots movement that includes everyone who is interested in participating. To me, he inspires me not only to become more involved in the political system, but also to hope for a time when I can say with pride, instead of remorse or guilt that yes, "I am US citizen," and not fear that others will refuse to speak to me.
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