Discussion of President Obama's foreign relations skills came up in Sea Turtle's excellent diary on the recent debate. "Some say" President Obama's 'passive' performance reflect poorly on President Obama's ability to deal with foreign leaders.
On the contrary, these measured tones are what the rest of the world is counting on in the next four years according to this artithis article second term for President Obama. Romney's perceived 'strong' showing in fact has put them on edge.
BRUSSELS (Reuters) - President Barack Obama's lackluster performance in the first U.S. election debate provoked uneasiness in European capitals on Thursday, where hopes are mostly, if unofficially, pinned on his securing a second term.
In Europe, where leaders and finance officials have worked closely with the Obama administration over the past 2-1/2 years trying to resolve the euro area debt crisis, there was particular consternation at Romney's singling out of deficit-ridden Spain as a poorly administered economy.
"Romney is making analogies that aren't based on reality," Foreign Affairs Minister Jose Manuel Garcia-Margallo told reporters after a meeting of his centre-right party.
Leading Spanish daily El Pais highlighted the fact that Spain was the only European country mentioned, and contrasted Romney's negative depiction of it with Obama's praise for Spain's renewable energy policies during the 2008 campaign.
"Spain has never been mentioned in a presidential debate as a symbol of failure," the left-leaning newspaper lamented. "What happened last night makes history. And not in a good way."
In private, many EU diplomats have no qualms about saying they want Obama re-elected; it is no secret that many European countries, whether led by centre-left or centre-right governments, are more broadly aligned with the Democrats when it comes to social and tax policy, the environment and a range of foreign-affairs issues.
Europe's leaders have good reason to go along; they want to keep a politically risky crisis under wraps, too, and they want to expand the close working relationship they have developed with Obama's administration over the past four years.The Bush years were marked by aggressiveness in foreign policy, a demeanor whose motto was 'your with us or against us', a provocative stance that certain factions of the population love to cheer but has no beneficial effect on actual foreign relations, as Bush's unpopularity around the world demonstrated.
"The Europeans have a general uneasiness about a Romney presidency," said Jan Techau, the director of Carnegie Europe.
The neocon experiment was tried, and failed, in the US and Europe, at least, has long enough memories to know they don't want another round of it.
"It's not because they don't like him, but there are a lot of neoconservative policy advisers who would come back into office under a Romney presidency, and that is a prospect that a lot of European leaders are not comfortable with.And Romney certainly did not endear himself to 'Old World' leaders during his abominable European tour this past summer.
Those sorts of opinions among the circle around Romney have raised hackles in Europe and fuelled hopes that his challenge for the White House will fail.The next 'debate' will focus on foreign policy where Obama's voters will be reminded of the benefits of measured demeanor when dealing with the rest of the world, as the rest of the world already well knows.