Election 2012

The World Responds to Obama's Re-election

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The world has been reacting to Barack Obama's re-election. Here is a sampling of how some around the world are feeling:

  • The Australian Sydney Morning Herald told its readers to "Breathe a sigh of relief", saying that Obama's interest in the region is in contrast to the interests of Romney, who would have engaged more directly in the Middle East and abandoned many important concerns in the Pacific.
  • Obama's position on Indonesia was praised by Muslim activists. Many are relieved that Obama sees how important the most populous Muslim country in the world will be when it comes to addressing Islamic extremism. 
  • China welcomed Obama's re-election. Had Mitt Romney been elected the rival superpower could have been labeled a currency manipulator. Many netizens congratulated the president and compared American democracy to their own government's ways of transferring power.
  • Officials from other Asian countries offered their congratulations, many will be pushing for Obama to help curb China's influence in his second term.
  • Indian officials welcomed the result. The emerging economic giant has benefitted from Obama's presidency, and will seek to keep on good relations. India's tenuous relationship with Pakistan will continue to be an important part of Indian and America diplomacy during Obama's second term.
  • In Pakistan politicians and the media were both understandably unenthused. The official statement on behalf of the Pakistani president reads, "President Asif Ali Zardari has warmly felicitated President Barack Obama his re-election as the President of the United States of America." The newspaper Dawn had scathing words, "If there was one thing that emerged clearly from the otherwise inane presidential debate on foreign policy and the vice-presidential debate it was that there is little daylight between the positions of Obama and Mitt Romney on Afghanistan and by extension on Pakistan."
  • Unsurprisingly, Obama's re-election was warmly received in Kenya.
  • Broadly speaking Latin America has responded positively. Cuba and Venezuela will continue to pose delicate diplomatic problems. Immigration and the drug war will continue to be key to relations in Mexico, where Obama's reelection has been widely welcomed.   
  • Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev didn't leave any room for misinterpretation. Speaking on Romney Medvedev said, "I am glad that the man who calls Russia its No. 1 foe will not be the president of this large and influential state."
  • The French newspaper Le Monde rejoiced in Obama's re-election, saying that "The worst did not happen" and taking particular glee in the defeats of Tea Party darlings like Allen West. French President Francois Hollande offered his "warmest congratulations."
  • Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who has had a far from easy relationship with the President said, "I will continue to work with President Obama to preserve the strategic interests of Israel's citizens." Netanyahu has been criticized at home for his closeness to Romney during the campaign.
  • In Iran Ayatollah Sadeq Larijani spoke out against the sanctions that the Obama administration has been enforcing, "Four years ago, Obama was elected on a platform for change and said he was extending his hand for cooperation with Iran, but he acted otherwise and unprecedented sanctions were imposed."

I have written previously on how Obama's foreign policy is affecting his popularity aborad. If the rhetoric from the campaign is to go by it doesn't look like we should expect Obama to learn from the foreign policy mistakes of his first term.