Barack Obama a Year Later: The World View

ABC News approached students at Beijing University today to see what they thought of Obama one year later.

"I think Obama did a good job in his first year," said Miranda Zhao, clearly a fan. "He played a positive role in the recovery of American economy. I think most of his policies are correct."

Alex Zhao, a student from Liaoning province, said, "Talking about economic policies, I don't think he did a better job than Clinton."

Maggie Liu, a student from Hebei province in northeast China, was the least positive.

"Obama works very hard," Liu said. "But unfortunately, he didn't live up to all his promises."

Kenya

Millions of Kenyans watched President's Obama's inauguration last year with special pride. The son of a Kenyan was now the leader of the free world.

Both the love for the man and the expectations for him were great, especially in Kogelo, his father's homeland, where Obama still has relatives.

A year later, some of the expectations have been met. For example, a museum honoring the history of the Obama family is being built, and there are more American tourists going to Kogelo.

"We are really proud of this Kenyan son. He has been able to accomplish so much in such a little time, and that to me is more important than any other promises," said Jack Oloo, a shop owner in Kogelo. "Kogelo has changed too. We get regular visitors, and this means that the country gets income from the huge number of visitors."

But as in the rest of the world, there are Kenyans who feel a little bit let down by the president's first year. There was the issue of him visiting Ghana first instead of Kenya, a decision many Kenyans supported.

But some say the U.S. needs to do more to push Kenya towards having better governance.

And Kenyans aren't immune to world opinion of President Obama. Many echo some of the same sentiments heard around the world.

"I think President Obama has failed in some of his major promises like withdrawing U.S troops from Afghanistan and other countries, " said Josephat Kimari, a university student in Nairobi.

Kenyans remain excited about their "native son" being president of the United States, but citing the continuing wars in Afghanistan and Iraq as well as the fallout from the financial crisis many are now taking a wait-and-see approach to whether his presidency will be successful.

Njuguna George, a businessman, summed up the attitude.

"I think we just need to give him more time to see whether he will accomplish most of his promises," he said.

"We did not expect direct benefits like huge infrastructure projects to come to Kenya because of an Obama presidency," said Adams Oloo, a political analyst and professor at the University of Nairobi. "But we got some benefits indirectly -- like more American tourists who come to visit Obama's ancestral home, and more so the inclusion of the western grid of the country to the tourism map of Kenya. Though Obama governs one of the biggest economies, the economic recession also affected the U.S. and many other countries. This should not be seen as one of his downfalls."

Britain

Britain's love affair with all things Obama is still going strong a year later. Beyond his leadership, the strong admiration for him in the U.K. has much to do with how he is perceived as a person.

Page
Join the Discussion
blog comments powered by Disqus
 
You Might Also Like...