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December 22, 2008


It eludes me how answering David Gregory's question about how the world views the U.S. by citing public opinion in very populous countries is "the opposite approach" from stating in 2003 the number of countries whose governments supported the U.S. action in Iraq. Is Rice to be faulted for giving a responsive answer to Gregory's question?

Sure, Rice tried to put a positive spin on the answer. Quel surprise! Do we expect the Obama Administration not to engage in similar spin putting the best possible face on the way the U.S. is viewed in the world?

An interesting footnote about the Pew poll is that it found that favorability ratings of the U.S. dropped between the beginning of the decade and spring 2002, which as you'll recall was months before the U.S. went to the U.N. Security Council about Iraq and a year before the invasion of Iraq. It would appear that the invasion of Afghanistan, which even Democrats seem to have fully supported, was the reason for the decline in favorability ratings. So much for passing the global test.

At first glance I thought Brendan's headline referred to White House support of the metric system. Say what you will about the Bush Administration, at least they've kept us on inches and gallons.

I'm having trouble recalling any public statement by Secretary Rice that made the least sense. Can someone help me, please?

Great comment, Rob. It appears that the title for Brendan's post should have been Media Changes Metric of US Support. Presumably the media have changed their line of attack because of our success in Iraq. We wouldn't have been acting badly to overthrow Saddam "unilaterally", even if we had really done so.

Incidentally, I don't favor measuring a President's success by the level of popularity abroad. There are a lot more important aspects to evaluating a foreign policy.

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