The American people gave Barack Obama a mandate to solve the problem.
And the problem is clearly jobs and the economy, a new Pew Research Poll says.
After the economy and jobs, American interest in other more mundane things like global warming, the war against terror and international relations and foreign policy barely makes the poll needle move.
But every nation outside the U.S. is looking to every word and action from President Obama to help them decipher the new direction of the U.S. and much of the world.
Each New Year in the U.S., dozens of newspapers list what is “out” from the old year and “in” for the New Year.
As the Asian or Lunar New Year is upon us, every nation in the world might feel the need to assess what is “in” or “out” since the President Obama tenure commenced.
China is worried and fear it may be “out.” China loved George W. Bush as “China friendly” but has already signaled that “Houston, we have a problem.”
Treasury Secretary nominee Timothy F. Geithner’s remarks about China in his Senate confirmation hearings already sent a shock wave through China.
Mark Lander of the New York Times wrote, “A simple restatement of his boss’s views, Timothy F. Geithner’s assertion that China ‘manipulates’ its currency has complicated a crucial front in President Obama’s efforts to improve America’s relations with the world.”
And China does not see Hillary Clinton as a friend.
Chinese President Hu Jintao, right, shakes hands with former U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, left, as former U.S. President Jimmy Carter, center, looks on during a meeting at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing Monday, Jan. 12, 2009. Carter and Kissinger were in China to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the establishment of U.S.-China diplomatic relations which began on Jan 1st, 1979. China hope relations with the U.S. will get even better, but the nation hated to see George W. Bush leave.(AP Photo/ Elizabeth Dalziel, POOL)
Russia’s President Dmitry Medvedev says Moscow is ready to help U.S. efforts in Afghanistan by allowing the Americans to ship cargo intended for coalition forces across Russian territory.
But Medvedev and Putin in Russia are loathe to accept U.S. missile defenses in Poland and the Czech Republic and fear other U.S. meddlesome activity in Georgia and elsewhere.
Asked about the prospects of the world with a President of the United States Barack Obama, Russin Preident Vladimir Putin said, “I am deeply convinced that the biggest disappointments are born out of big expectations.”
Pakistan is worried that the flow of American money may dry up, as former President Musharraf of Pakistan seemed to indicate when interviewed by Wolf Blitzer on CNN.
But Pakistan is pleased there will be a new U.S. envoy to the region: Richard Holbrooke.
Iran and several “brothers against Zionism” in Hamas, Hezbollah, and among Palestinians and others seem emboldened by President Obama’s promise of a new way forward in the Middle East, stronger diplomatic efforts to resolve all difficulties, and the appointment of George Mitchell as special envoy.
But naturally, this makes for some concern in Tel Aviv, Cairo and other capitals.
Many in Africa and in the human rights arena are delighted to see Barack Obama as President of the United States but also express some longing for President Bush’s work to fight AIDS and the abuse and neglect of refugees.
Will President Obama do more in Somalia or Darfur?
Mush remains unknown…..
President-elect Barack Obama meets with Mexico’s President Felipe Calderon at the Mexican Cultural Institute in Washington, January 12, 2009.(Larry Downing/Reuters)
In Mexico: indiscriminate kidnappings. Nearly daily beheadings. Gangs that mock and kill government agents.
This isn’t Iraq or . It’s , which the U.S. government and a growing number of experts say is becoming one of the world’s biggest security risks because of the “drug war.”
But when President-elect Obama, just before his inauguration, met Mexican President Calderon, the discussion was not about drugs or immigration. The media was told Obama praised Calderon for his work on global warming and energy.
But neither a bad environment nor energy problems are as likely to bring Mexico to its knees — and impact negatively on the United States — as the drug war, according to the U.S. military.
The leadership of every nation on earth is asking, “What does President Obama mean to us?”
Islamist insurgents display their weaponry in Mogadishu during a parade in mid-January.