Post-American President: "Thank you for letting me let you be yourself, uh-huh."
"Obama Bows Before Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao" (Drudge Report, November 24, 2009)
Gabor Steingart,"Obama's Nice Guy Act Gets Him Nowhere on the World Stage" (Der Spiegel, November 23, 2009):
When he entered office, US President Barack Obama promised to inject US foreign policy with a new tone of respect and diplomacy. His recent trip to Asia, however, showed that it's not working. A shift to Bush-style bluntness may be coming.... Barack Obama looked tired on Thursday ... He also seemed irritable and even slightly forlorn.
... The mood in Obama's foreign policy team is tense following an extended Asia trip that produced no palpable results. The "first Pacific president," as Obama called himself, came as a friend and returned as a stranger....
In Tokyo, the new center-left government even pulled out of its participation in a mission which saw the Japanese navy refueling US warships in the Indian Ocean as part of the Afghanistan campaign. In Beijing, Obama failed to achieve any important concessions whatsoever.... The White House did not even stand up for itself when it came to the question of human rights in China.... Even the president seems to have lost his faith in a genial foreign policy....
There are many indications that the man in charge at the White House will take a tougher stance in the future. Obama's advisors fear a comparison with former Democratic President Jimmy Carter, even more than with Bush. Prominent Republicans have already tried to liken Obama to the humanitarian from Georgia, who lost in his bid to win a second term, because voters felt that he was too soft. "Carter tried weakness and the world got tougher and tougher because the predators, the aggressors, the anti-Americans, the dictators, when they sense weakness, they all start pushing ahead," Newt Gingrich, the former Republican speaker in the House of Representatives, recently said. And then he added: "This does look a lot like Jimmy Carter."