Beltway Confidential

Obama fails to improve US standing around the world

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Beltway Confidential,Barack Obama,Polls,Ashe Schow,Africa,Foreign Policy

President Obama's week-long excursion/vacation in Africa comes as a new Gallup poll shows that U.S. approval is down among the countries the president is visiting.

When Obama was inaugurated in 2009, 87 percent of people in Senegal approved of U.S. leadership (Bush had improved that rating 20 points in his final three years), but now, 80 percent of Senegalese approve of Obama's leadership. The same goes for South Africa, which also had a higher approval rate for U.S. leadership in 2009 (87 percent) than it does now (76 percent). Tanzania's approval has taken the greatest hit, falling from 89 percent in 2009 to 70 percent now.

In 2008, Obama promised that his election would improve global perceptions of the U.S., but despite his campaign site claiming that he "has restored America's standing across the globe and kept his promise to be a strong and responsible leader on foreign policy," it is clear that promise has not been fulfilled.

And the lower standing is not limited to those three African countries. Across all of Africa, U.S. leadership approval is down from 85 percent in 2009 to 74 percent in 2011.

Earlier this year, Gallup released a poll showing U.S. leadership fading worldwide. In 2009, 49 percent approved of U.S. leadership (a 15-point jump from where Bush left it in 2008), but has since fallen to 41 percent, as disapproval ticks upward.

Now, approval of leadership in all countries has gone down since the financial meltdown, but five years into Obama's term, his promise has clearly not been fulfilled.

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