On the Arab attitudes piece, while I would not be surprised to find that the general sentiment of the results are correct (that the US is potentially less popular than it was after Obama’s Cairo speech), since it is a Zogby International conducted poll, I’d take every figure and every margin with a grain of salt. He’s been known to get the result of elections correct, but be widely off in the actual numbers. That being said, when it comes to the Arab world, Obama needs to actually get his shit together. He’s started to govern as someone who believes it’s important that he’s re-elected, instead of important that he do a good job, as he used to be. Circumstances have changed to make this more of a needed attitude, but he needs to come through on some promises to the Arab world and make some strides. It sometimes sounds like Clinton’s Department of State is occasionally at odds with what he wants (I believe they were the ones who wanted to show support for Mubarak during the Egyptian protests, while Obama wanted to distance himself, I could be wrong on that).

I don’t disagree with you about the polls, and that’s why even though I edited for brevity, I still left the part about Zogby’s involvement (and his brother being CEO of the company that conducted the poll).

Although I do sense that Obama is missing in international popularity. I read a lot of Latin American (Spanish printed) and European press (in addition to American) and it seems that while he was once hailed as a “savior figure” (at least when compared to Bush and how Bush was perceived both in Europe and Latin America), nowadays the press is rather critical of him and his policies. So, I would expect the same to be the case in the Arab world. Perhaps not as dramatically as these figures show, but probably in a more skeptical and less forgiving way than it used to be when he became president.

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