Monday, January 19, 2009

Obama carries amazing level of good will into presidency

Two polls I've read today suggest that Obama is carrying an amazing level of goodwill into his presidency, both from the American people and internationally.

The first is the PIPA World Opinion Poll.  It reports:

As Barack Obama prepares to be sworn in as the 44th president of the United States, a new 17-nation poll conducted for the BBC World Service finds widespread and growing optimism that his presidency will lead to improved relations between the United States and the rest of the world.  The poll also shows people around the world are looking to President Obama to put highest priority on dealing with the current global financial crisis.  In 15 of the 17 countries polled, majorities think that the election of Barack Obama will lead to improved relations with the rest of the world. On average 67 per cent express this upbeat view, while 19 per cent think relations will stay the same and just 5 per cent that relations will worsen.  This is up sharply - by 21 points among tracking countries - from polling done for the BBC World Service six months ago, before Obama was elected. At that time just 47 per cent expressed optimism that an Obama presidency would lead to improved relations with the rest of the world. The number of people giving no answer to the question is also down sharply.

Asked to rate six possible priorities for the Obama Administration, the top priority in all countries polled was the global financial crisis. On average 72 per cent said that it should be a top priority.  This was followed by withdrawing US troops from Iraq - with 50 per cent saying this should be a top priority - then addressing climate change (46%), improving America's relationship with the respondent's country (46%), brokering peace between Israel and the Palestinians (43%), and supporting the government of Afghanistan against the Taliban (29%).

Obviously, the priority of the American people is the economy.  And a recent NY Times poll suggests that we're both optimistic that Obama can improve the economy and willing to give him

time to succeed.

 
   

President-elect Barack Obama is riding a powerful wave of optimism into the White House, with Americans confident he can turn the economy around but prepared to give him years to deal with the crush of problems he faces starting Tuesday, according to the latest New York Times/CBS News Poll. While hopes for the new president are extraordinarily high, the poll found, expectations for what Mr. Obama will actually be able to accomplish appear to have been tempered by the scale of the nation’s problems at home and abroad.  The findings suggest that Mr. Obama has achieved some success with his effort, which began with his victory speech in Chicago in November, to gird Americans for a slow economic recovery and difficult years ahead after a campaign that generated striking enthusiasm and high hopes for change. Most Americans said they did not expect real progress in improving the economy, reforming the health care system or ending the war in Iraq — three of the central promises of Mr. Obama’s campaign — for at least two years. The poll found that two-thirds of respondents think the recession will last two years or longer.

As the nation prepares for a transfer of power and the inauguration of its 44th president, Mr. Obama’s stature with the American public stands in sharp contrast to that of President Bush.Mr. Bush is leaving office with just 22 percent of Americans offering a favorable view of how he handled the eight years of his presidency, a record low, and firmly identified with the economic crisis Mr. Obama is inheriting. More than 80 percent of respondents said the nation was in worse shape today than it was five years ago.

contrast, 79 percent were optimistic about the next four years under Mr. Obama, a level of good will for a new chief executive that exceeds that measured for any of the past five incoming presidents. And it cuts across party lines: 58 percent of the respondents who said they voted for Mr. Obama’s opponent in the general election, Senator John McCain of Arizona, said they were optimistic about the country in an Obama administration....  [Obama's] favorable rating, at 60 percent, is the highest it has been since the Times/CBS News poll began asking about him. Overwhelming majorities say they think that Mr. Obama will be a good president, that he will bring real change to Washington, and that he will make the right decisions on the economy, Iraq, dealing with the war in the Middle East and protecting the country from terrorist attacks. Over 70 percent said they approved of his cabinet selections.

This is good.  I think its safe to say that no President has ever faced greater challenges in entering the Presidency.  Good luck, Mr. President!


http://lawprofessors.typepad.com/environmental_law/2009/01/obama-carries-a.html

Governance/Management | Permalink

TrackBack URL for this entry:

http://www.typepad.com/services/trackback/6a00d8341bfae553ef010536dc8571970b

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Obama carries amazing level of good will into presidency: