Only nine months ago, when he addressed an estimated 200,000 people in Germany, Barack Obama was heralded as “president of the world.”
But now that he’s president of the United States, the world doesn’t appear to be following up on its endorsement.
From France to Poland, from the Czech Republic to China, many nations are rebuffing the president and offering little wiggle room for him to negotiate economic and security policies.
Obama faces his first major international test next week when the world’s largest economies meet at the G20 summit in London.
“I think as the president heads to Europe, he faces a huge public relations disaster,” said Nile Gardiner, director of the conservative Heritage Foundation’s Margaret Thatcher Center for Freedom.
“Europe is increasingly turning against his massive spending plans, which most European leaders see as a destructive way to move forward for the global economy and will only add to a massive American debt burden,” Gardiner told FOXNews.com.
“At the same time, there is a growing impression across Europe that the Obama administration is inept and inefficient and increasingly poorly managed.”
Last summer in Europe: the people were at his feet. Now?
A top European Union politician on Wednesday slammed Obama’s plans for the U.S. to spend its way out of recession as “a way to hell.”
Czech Prime Minister Mirek Topolanek, who lost a confidence vote in his own parliament this week and whose country currently holds the EU presidency, told the European Parliament that Obama’s massive stimulus package and banking bailout “will undermine the stability of the global financial market.”
That followed concerns by Poland that the U.S., as a way to appease Russia, plans to bail out of a missile defense shield the Bush administration negotiated with Poland and the Czech Republic.
“Russian generals, and even the Russian president, still continues to threaten us with the deployment of medium-range missiles in our immediate vicinity,” Polish Foreign Minister Radoslaw Sikorski told Rep. Ellen Tauscher, D-Calif., in Brussels on Sunday. “So we signed with the previous administration. We patiently wait for the decision of the new administration and we hope we don’t regret our trust in the United States.”
Most European leaders favor tighter financial regulation, while the U.S. has been pushing for larger economic stimulus plans.
“We consider that in Europe we have already invested a lot for the recovery, and that the problem is not about spending more, but putting in place a system of regulation so that the economic and financial catastrophe that the world is seeing does not reproduce itself,” French President Nicolas Sarkozy told a news conference in Berlin last week with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, rebuffing U.S. calls to spend more.