The stalled U.S. economy, his biggest political burden, is doing just fine by today’s European standards. His actions in 2009 to stimulate the economy, administer bank bailouts and regulate financial institutions, attacked by Republican opponents, were the subjects of tutorials for European leaders who increasingly must follow his lead.
And his national security record — a full Iraq pullout, the slower planned exodus from Afghanistan, the successful military operation in Libya and especially the killing of terrorists led by Osama bin Laden — is appreciated.
“We need the leadership of Barack Obama,” French President Nicolas Sarkozy gushed just hours after the U.S. president’s arrival here. “He is much loved and much liked here in France.”
By the time Obama left Friday, hundreds of locals who waited in pelting rain to see him at a small plaza commemorating the city’s war dead chanted “O-ba-ma,” with nary a Tea Party protester in sight.