Had an interesting conversation yesterday with a friend that was born, lives and works in London. This friend is, I suppose, somewhat conservative for a Londoner, but would be considered a liberal in the US by pretty much any standard. Good guy, smart, keeps abreast of world politics, etc.
Anyway, he was excited about the prospects of an Obama presidency in 2008 and felt that W had eroded a lot of respect that the US carried on the world stage. Being a Brit, he probably actually like this erosion of respect, though he would not admit it.
That said, he does acknowledge that when the US is strong, or viewed as strong, the world seems to run a little smoother. He thought Obama could right some wrongs.
Fast forward to yesterday...when I ask his opinion of Obama in view of recent Syrian/Russian events, he said five words, "he is a historic failure". "He" is obviously Obama.
When I ask if that is the general sentiment over there right now, he said without a doubt. He said that most over there (he travels to France often as well), view Obama as simply shallow and a person without a plan...basically a caricature of what he revealed himself to be on the campaign trail.
He did say, however, that most did not think Romney would be much better overall, but acknowledged he would have handled this better. Surprisingly, he did remember Romney saying that Russia was our biggest threat and thought that was interesting in view of the criticism he received for saying that with respect to what is going on less than a year later.
He also said that he feels embarrassed for the US that our nation has been humiliated by Russia, of all nations, on the international stage due to the ineptness of our leadership.
Anyway, I thought it was an interesting perspective from a person across the pond that quite literally has no dog in the hunt relative to American politics.