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Ok, the United Kingdom's political class is hardly popular at the moment what with politicians claiming public money to repair their castle moatsand swimming pools. The voters are finding it hard to decide whether that is worse than claiming for wreaths laid for fallen heroes.

Hardly surprising then that  political leaders are not doing too well in the polls.

Gordon Brown’s leadership rating has also dropped sharply since his temporary boost last autumn over his handling of the banking crisis: down from 5.04 to 4.47 (on a 0 to 10 scale). This is higher than the low points of around 4 last summer, but is the lowest of any of the three main party leaders. By contrast, David Cameron is up over the past six months from 4.94 to 5.39, the highest level for any Tory leader over the past six years. Nick Clegg is up from 4.08 to 4.71, his highest so far.

There is one politician, however, that UK voters respect, a politician they can't even vote for.

...the most popular leader by far is President Obama, whose rating is even higher than when he was elected in November, up from 7.08 to 7.27

So that's just because the British politicians are unpopular, right? Wrong. The popularity of President Obama even oveshadows Tony Blair at his most popular.

This compares with the peak for a British leader of 5.75 for Tony Blair in May 2003.

That's what's called (international) political capital. For whatever reason the President through his political standpoints, his personality and also the huge symbolism of his election carries the burden of huge expectations but also has opportunities that few politiciancs have enjoyed
to reshape our world.

Take these comments from King Abdullah of Jordan.

The critical juncture will be what comes out of the Obama-Netanyahu meeting. If there is procrastination by Israel on the two-state solution or there is no clear American vision for how this is going to play out in 2009, then all the tremendous credibility that Obama has worldwide and in this region will evaporate overnight if nothing comes out in May. All eyes will be looking to Washington in May. If there are no clear signals and no clear directives to all of us, then there will be a feeling that this is just another American government that is going to let us all down.

It's a heck of an ask for any one man. But the world looks to him and, once again, we look to you, the United States,to be our "city on a hill".

I can't tell you how good it feels to write that after eight years of... well you know what.

Originally posted to pwy on Mon May 11, 2009 at 03:30 PM PDT.

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