The role of international support in Obama's victory

As we begin to come down from the high of celebrations and recover from lost sleep it is worth reflecting on what, if any, role international support had in Obama's election. We've had skeptical comments on this blog from both Americans who were angry that foreigners should take such an interest in their elections and from Obama-supporters who were genuinely concerned that international support could be used against Obama. In fact the McCain campaign did tried to do this at times, for example by accusing him of being a mere "celebrity" like Britany Spears, after huge crowds gathered to hear him in Berlin in June, and also by drawing attention to approving comments spoken by a Hamas official. However Carl Cannon, the Washington Bureau Chief of the Readers Digest (who wrote about TWWOC a few months ago), includes international support as one of his ten reasons why Obama won:

"Americans have been concerned with our standing in the world since Thomas Jefferson prefaced the Declaration of Independence with the notation that “a respect to the decent opinion of mankind” required Americans to lay out their case to the international community. We are still doing so—and the Reader’s Digest global poll shows that the world is still listening, and still watching what we do. They are especially interested in our presidential elections. This time, they wanted the only child of a visiting Kenyan student and an independent, young white woman from Kansas to become the leader of the free world. They got their wish, in one small part because Americans still desire the approbation of the world."

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