Bob Woodward thinks the world doesn't hold the United States in very high regard anymore.
Appearing on the syndicated "Chris Matthews Show" this weekend, the Washington Post's most recognizable journalist said, "I’m not sure the United States has been looked at as the grown-up nation for a long time...You travel around the world a little bit, and, and there’s, there’s not even tough love for the United States" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
BOB WOODWARD, WASHINGTON POST: But on your question about grown-up, I’m not sure the United States has been looked at as the grown-up nation for a long time. I think, I think there’s a lot of negativity out there.
You travel around the world a little bit, and, and there’s, there’s not even tough love for the United States.
In the circles someone like Woodward travels in, is there ever a high regard for America?
Was there respect for this country amongst his peers when he was reporting on Watergate almost 40 years ago?
It really is nothing new that America's journalists hold her in such disregard. They've been doing it for decades.
But not all of them. The Chicago Tribune's Clarence Page wasn't necessarily willing to sell America short alongside Woodward:
CLARENCE PAGE, CHICAGO TRIBUNE: And yet look how calm Wall Street has been. I mean, there, it’s, there’s a sense on Wall Street that there are a lot of theatrics going on here, but that the United States is not going to default.
Maybe one of the greatest measures of the respect the world has for a nation is their willingness to invest in its debt.
With all the financial distress and calamities that have befallen the globe in recent years, America's Treasury paper continues to be the universal safe haven of choice:
Above is a five year chart of our 10-year Treasury note. The vertical axis is interest rate, the horizontal one years.
For those unfamiliar, bonds and notes trade in an inverse relationship to interest rates. This means the lower the rate, the higher the price.
As is plainly evident, since the financial world turned on its ear in 2007, international investors have continually poured more and more money into our debt.
Contrary to Woodward's world view, this means that people with real money - maybe not the folks he hangs out with - do indeed see America as the grown-up.
If they didn't, they'd be piling out of our debt with both hands.
On the other hand, assuming the great-unwashed around the world aren't pleased with America, wasn't the election of Barack Obama going to change all that?
Didn't folks like Matthews and Woodward claim the junior senator from Illinois was going to radically improve our nation's level of respect across the globe?
Not at all surprisingly, this didn't come up during this discussion of the world not seeing America as the grown-up nation anymore.
Must be because that's George W. Bush's fault despite him being out of office for two and a half years.
Forgive me for even mentioning it.