Barack Obama a Year Later: The World View

His attitude towards his political counterparts outside of the U.S., as well as being seen as a doting father and husband, has won him many plaudits for his diplomatic know-how and cultural sensitivities. In short, he is the man people in Britain are falling over themselves to meet.

His presence at various international meetings over the past year, including the G-20 meeting in London, highlighted the difference in attitudes towards the international community between himself and his predecessor, George W. Bush. Time and time again, President Obama, has been seen as progressive, inclusive and willing to do dialogue, a big change from the Bush days.

"The difference is that Obama seems to be much more willing to engage with foreign partners on a relationship of equals," Graeme Cooke, project leader at the British political think tank, Demos, told ABC News. "The advantage for Britain with Obama is that he clearly wants to pursue a more multilateral foreign policy , and we see that around issues such as Afghanistan and climate change, in particular, where they've brought in a partner they can do business with on an equal basis. So it's a certainly a boost for Britain there."

As far as the "special relationship" between the U.S. and U.K. goes, Britain is shaking off the much-maligned "poodle" label it acquired during the Bush-Blair days.

The moniker came during the darker days of the Iraq War when then-Prime Minister Tony Blair was seen as being too eager to partner up with President Bush over the invasion of Iraq.

With the Bush-Blair days behind, the "Obama effect" also has been felt in other ways, most strongly on the race issue.

"Clearly, his election has sent a massive signal that race should never be a barrier to getting on in life or, indeed, becoming successful politically," Cook said. "We see how under-represented black and ethnic communities are in the British parliament, and hopefully in the next election more people from those communities will get elected so one day we hopefully, one day, might see a black prime minister."


Darius Lam, a 38-year-old from Mumbai, believes Obama has made strong progress in his first year.

"Although the actions have been a little slower than hoped, he still continues to impress with his vision and passionate way of speaking," said Lam, an automotive industry expert.

India became enchanted with Obama during the last several months of his presidential campaign and Obama Fan Clubs sprung up around the country of more than 1 billion people.

More importantly than any specific progress Lam said that Obama has created a positive image for the US.

"He's really raised America's profile and portrayed a good! positive image for the US in the rest of the world," he said.

Rahul Gidwani, a strategic marketing consultant, was a bit more critical:

"I think Obama has talked a good game on a number of policy issues over the last year, both domestic and foreign, however he is yet to show he can implement and deliver on these policies, especially on foreign policy," he said. "I think it's too early to judge him definitively and I believe that he still has a long way to go to prove himself as an effective president. In short – he has talked the talk, he now needs to walk the walk!"

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