One month into his tenure, President Obama has demonstrated that he will transform several hallmarks of his campaign into a coherent approach to the world. A clear message has been sent, and received enthusiastically, from tv viewers in the Arab world to citizens on the streets of Ottawa. Ultimately, they will be judged less on these early diplomatic actions than on their ability to produce results
President Obama’s trip to Canada – his first trip abroad since taking office – promises to strike a new tone and to begin to reverse the decay that has occurred in our key relationships over the last eight years. Renewing the North American partnership is vital to addressing key global and domestic challenges.
With the success of a referendum eliminating term limits this weekend, Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez scored a victory in his campaign to style himself the champion of the poor and as the leader of region-wide opposition to the United States in Latin America. Unfortunately, the approach of the Bush administration toward Latin America strengthened Chavez, not weakened him, in his drive for autocratic power in Venezuela and demagogic status beyond it. A new approach to the region can begin with building a new partnership with rising democratic powers such as Brazil, expanding engagement toward the region to address a broader swath of issues, and taking symbolic concerns seriously – above all, with a start at dismantling many of the restrictive elements of the Cold War-era embargo against Cuba.
The mixed results of yesterday’s Israeli elections are likely to throw the country into political chaos for the next few weeks. Whether the final result is a national unity government led by Livni or a right wing government led by Netanyahu, the new political situation will likely make any peace efforts more difficult.
Barack Obama’s victory was greeted with massive enthusiasm and support from around the world. Obama's election as the 44th President of the United States presents an important opportunity to repair our relationship with our allies and restore America’s image around the globe.