With Barack Obama losing his lead in a variety of polls, CNN anchor John Roberts on American Morning today decided to look elsewhere for encouragement. He and CNN London correspondent Becky Anderson, with the bottom of the screen announcing, "The world wants Obama," looked at a BBC poll showing that, at least among foreigners, Obama is still a superstar:
ROBERTS: It has been said that politics is a popularity contest. And according to a new BBC Poll, Barack Obama is more popular among people overseas. CNN's Becky Anderson is looking at the poll results for us this morning. She is live right there by Carnaby Street in London.
Good morning to you, Becky.
BECKY ANDERSON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, John.
You're absolutely right. An overwhelming majority of the 22,000 people who are polled across 22 countries around the world favor an Obama presidency. Now, let's be honest. Obama did have an advantage going into this campaign as far as the rest of the world is, was and will be concerned, John. It's anybody but Bush. And by dent of association, therefore, anyone but John McCain.
So, let's take a look at these numbers, shall we. And see what's surprising about them. What isn't surprising is you get something like an 82 percent approval rating for Obama. In Kenya, for example, is where many of his siblings, step siblings, members of his family live. They like, know Obama. They like him, they know him, and know a lot about him, and they want him for presidency.
Perhaps more surprisingly, John, is when you look at the numbers from NATO allies. For example Canada, France, Germany, good approval rating of over 50 percent for Obama. And these are people who dealt with the Bush administration in the past and are looking for international affairs, foreign policy and experience in both of those. So, that's where perhaps the numbers are a bit more surprising.
Anderson then mentioned that in 2004 Monsieur John Kerry also enjoyed substantial foreign support, although not quite as much as The One. The report continued:
ROBERTS: So, Becky, overseas, President Bush has got very long coattails that John McCain seems to be attached to. But here in the United States, John McCain is presenting himself as an agent of change now. He's going back to that maverick attitude that he had back in the year 2000, and it's starting to work among some independents. Is there anything he can say to change opinion worldwide?
ANDERSON: It's interesting, isn't it? I wondered whether there might be, a few weeks ago, until he took Sarah Palin on to the ticket. That's been interesting to see people react to Sarah Palin and John McCain as an item, because there's an awful lot of skepticism about Sarah Palin.
When you hear words like creationism, when you hear words like -- or phrases like, I don't support the arguments for global warming, for example, it's arguments like that and it's a Sarah Palin ticket, I think, which is, to a certain extent hurting John McCain.
There really isn't very much, it seems, that he can say or do at this point, even on foreign policy interestingly enough -- John.
ROBERTS: We should point out, though, that only people in the United States, people who are Americans, get the opportunity to vote. But it's interesting to look at that worldwide opinion. Becky Anderson for us this morning. Becky, thanks very much.
Roberts's question asking if there's anything McCain can do to change foreign opinion is revealing. In a world that harbors substantial anti-Americanism, why should a candidate for the United States presidency worry about the paper tiger of overseas opinion?
According to Anderson, the deal breaker for McCain was when Sarah Palin joined the ticket. Foreigners may not have cheered, but Americans certainly have. Perhaps, like some in the mainstream media here, people overseas object to her not having traveled to Europe or not even appearing on "Meet the Press."
Concluding by pointing out that only Americans get to vote for president suggests Roberts must not have much respect for his viewers' intelligence. That's rather common knowledge. Or maybe it just annoys him that foreigners can't help determine our elections.