Obama Gets Mixed Reviews on World Stage
By Ben Pershing
President Obama has now crossed the midpoint of a week dominated by top-level international summitry on U.S. soil, temporarily distracting him from the twin challenges of health-care reform and Afghanistan that currently dominate the domestic political scene.
After an address to the United Nations Wednesday calling on other nations to reciprocate America's efforts to foster global cooperation on issues like climate change, Obama will use the Security Council meeting Thursday to call for increased efforts to combat nuclear proliferation (an issue he focused on during his term in the Senate). Then he moves on to Pittsburgh for the start of the two-day G-20 summit. "Obama comes to a global summit here pushing a slimmed-down agenda designed to prevent a repeat of the conditions that caused such panic a few months ago," the Associated Press reports. "Obama will tell world leaders that the global economy cannot continually rely on huge borrowing and spending by Americans and massive exports by countries such as China."
Will Obama's engagements with other nations help him in his own? "The thinking among many Democratic strategists is that Obama is at his best when he is on a big stage, looking and acting like a statesman," The Fix writes. Presumably the content of Obama's dialogue on stage is at least as important as the simple fact that he is on it, particularly if Republicans are seeking to make the case -- as they did during his past foreign trips -- that Obama is bowing to, or courting favor from, foreign countries at the expense of American values. Peter Wehner calls Obama's UN address "the latest stop on his American Apology Tour" where he "once again succumbed to what has become almost a clinical addiction: criticizing the United States in front of an international audience."
Posted at 8:31 AM ET on Sep 24, 2009
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