If Michelle Obama gets tired of merely entertaining dignitaries as first lady, she might try her hand at editing for the Associated Press. After all, according to the AP, her husband has made it "cool" to be an American again. Yahoo.com is giving play to the story by featuring it as a top headline in the "World" section of its news page (see image at right).
From AP writer William J. Kole:
VIENNA, Austria – She was a stranger, and she kissed me. Just for being an American.
It happened on the bus on my way to work Wednesday morning, a few hours after compatriots clamoring for change swept Barack Obama to his historic victory. I was on the phone, and the 20-something Austrian woman seated in front of me overheard me speaking English.
Without a word, she turned, pecked me on the cheek and stepped off at the next stop.
Nothing was said, but the message was clear: Today, we are all Americans.
For longtime U.S. expatriates like me — someone far more accustomed to being targeted over unpopular policies, for having my very Americanness publicly assailed — it feels like an extraordinary turnabout.
Like a long journey over a very bumpy road has abruptly come to an end.
And it's not just me.
An American colleague in Egypt says several people came up to her on the streets of Cairo and said: "America, hooray!" Others, including strangers, expressed congratulations with a smile and a hand over their hearts.
Another colleague, in Amman, says Jordanians stopped her on the street and that several women described how they wept with joy.