Europeans Enamored with Obama, Less So with American Values

Europeans remain enamored with President Obama—far more so than the American public that re-elected him.

“He Is Our President, Too,” cheered a headline in an international European paper after the November presidential election. European publics by majorities of 80–90 percent hold a favorable view of Obama. This is certainly an unrequited love, as witnessed by the Obama Administration’s snubbing of longstanding European allies, neglect of NATO, and “pivot to Asia.” Yet Europeans see Obama as one of them and will forgive just about anything. As a consequence, anti-Americanism in Europe is on the decline.

At the same time, Europeans and Americans continue to differ on essential values. The 2012 Pew Center Global Attitudes Study published last week reveals a persistent gap between Americans and Europeans. While the results appear paradoxical, the explanation is the Obama factor. Writes Richard Wike, associate director of the Pew Global Attitudes Project, “The enthusiasm that greeted Obama’s election has waned a bit over time, even in Europe, but vestiges of ‘Obamamania’ remain. The 2012 Pew Global Attitudes survey found at least eight-in-ten expressing confidence in the U.S. president in Germany, France, and Britain.”

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