WaPo Finds Expats Happy to Be American Again Since Obama's Election

January 16th, 2009 3:02 PM

"For the first time in a long time, it's cool to be an American."

No, that's not First Lady-in-waiting Michelle Obama, although it sounds a lot like her infamous comment from the 2008 Democratic primary campaign. It's American expatriate Kit Maloney, as quoted by London-based Washington Post foreign service staffer Mary Jordan at the end of her January 16 article, "Americans, Feeling the Love."

Sharing some credit with a total of nine additional Post contributors based in London and seven other foreign capitals, Jordan's 27-paragraph story relayed the stories of Americans sharing their tales of low-grade persecution by anti-Bush, anti-American Europeans.

Rather than question the incivility or poor etiquette of said snooty Europeans towards Americans working in their countries, Jordan painted Europeans and Americans living abroad as uniformly breathing a welcoming sigh of relief at Barack Obama's inauguration next Tuesday.

"Finally! I'm tired of pretending I'm Canadian," exulted Californian Micha Wyatt, who "is basking in the new warmth toward Americans overseas." "There is a buzz about America now," Wyatt -- a San Franciscan whom Jordan insisted "does not align herself with any party but comes from a Republican family" -- added.

In addition to the Republican-by-family-affiliation Wyatt, Jordan noted a McCain supporter saying that his Russian clients "think we're more enlightened now." 

"The people I work with give me high-fives and say things like 'You can be proud to be from your country again,'" Jordan quoted New York teacher Jennifer Granger, who lives in Prague.

Okay, we get it. Many Europeans strongly disagree with the Iraq war and other Bush policies. But Americans are well known for our patriotism regardless of the party in power.

For example, I doubt many Republicans living overseas in 1998 were really ashamed to be Americans due to President Clinton's disgraceful conduct in the Lewinsky Affair. Yet Jordan failed to find a single American expatriate to insist that he or she was and always will be proud to be an American regardless of what their European colleagues think, even though Maloney practically hinted at one such reason. America's political scene is much more diverse and post-racial than Europeans see theirs:

Kit Maloney, a Boston native who for the past eight years has lived on and off in London, said strangers have begun to quiz her on all aspects of American life and on how a country could elect a black liberal intellectual, something people tell her they can't imagine happening in Britain any time soon.

"For the first time in a long time, it's cool to be an American," she said.