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People and Politics Forum 07. 11. 2008

"What are your expectations of Barack Obama?"

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More information:

A New President - A Study into US-German Relations

"Yes we can" was his campaign slogan, and it helped secure his victory as President-Elect of the USA. But Barack Obama is facing enormous expectations, within America and beyond its shores. What can Germany expect? Probably calls to shoulder more responsibility. Afganistan is one aspect, as well as joint efforts to tackle the global economic and financial crisis. We take an in-depth look at what could become a new era in German-American ties.

Our Question is:

"What are your expectations of Barack Obama?"

In Germany, Hannelore Krause wishes President-Elect Barack Obama all the best ahead of his inauguration on 20 January next year, and notes:

"He seems to be very dynamic and full of good intentions, and he has to shoulder a difficult legacy. I expect him to slowly withdraw US troops from Iraq and prevent more senseless bloodshed, refraining from sending in more forces and asking the Europeans to follow suit...and that he can defuse tension with Iran, despite the nuclear issue... I also hope he tackles climate protection and works closely with the Europeans, especially with Germany."

Gerhard Seeger, in the Philippines, says people should not demand too much:

"Putting up high expectation hurdles doesn't help, and doesn't do Barack Obama any favors. During the election race, you could hear comments auch as "Saint Obama" or simply "The Saviour". Let's get back to earth: he is probably a good person, but he can't perform miracles, and he won't be able to keep all promises. Foreign relations will most likely get better, but his motto, as American president, will be: America first!"

Charles Smyth, in Britain, isn't too impressed:

"Obama ran a campaign based on nothing more than aspirational rhetoric, no more meaningful than any articulate teenager could come out with. The best that can be expected is that he and his administration can manage to avoid a total economic collapse of the US economy, and be able to significantly reduce the US' self-assumed military/security commitments by getting the EU to become more responsible for its own domestic and foreign security. This may seem a modest accomplishment, but it will be an outstanding achievement, given the challenges he and his administration face."

Lee Davis, in the USA, puts his hope in Barack Obama:

"I am one of the many Americans who voted for President Obama. Here is what I thought when I Cast my Vote. Here is a man that will listen to me, and that is what I expect from Barack Obama."

The People and Politics desk reserves the right to edit and abbreviate texts.