Obama Unites World 10 Weeks Before Taking Oath

Our new leader is generating enthusiasm even before he takes office.

Many Americans are still marveling at what happened. Even as Barack Obama, who started his career as a community organizer, swiftly moves to begin organizing a new government for the United States,  the euphoria lingers.

A black man has fulfilled the essence of Martin Luther King's dream -- he has been elected President of the United States.

Even the news from city hall that Mayor Michael Bloomberg is ending the $400 property tax rebate and that he might raise the city income tax can't dampen the spirits of New Yorkers who found Obama's great victory exhilarating.

Yet, as Obama prepares to govern, not the least benefit of his  great victory is the impact it is having on the rest of the world.
From London and Paris to India, Kenya and China, in Africa, the Middle East, Asia and Australia, people -- and editorial writers -- are voicing their happiness over the outcome of the American election.

After an era in which we didn't win any popularity contests abroad, our new leader is generating enthusiasm even before he takes office.
The man who advocated change for America is generating change in attitudes all over the globe. In France, President Sarkozy said his election “has raised enormous hope in France, Europe and beyond.” 

In London, the Times hailed the election results as a testament to the “energy, excitement and expectations of a rejuvenated American democracy.”

The Israeli daily newspaper, Haaretz, called Obama's election “an example of democracy at its best.”

The English daily in Jordan, the Times, described Obama as “the American leader we need.”

But a sour note came from another Arab daily in the UAE, Al Khaleej, which said it didn't matter who won -- the president was bound to be biased in favor of Israel.

The China Daily wished Obama well and hoped for a “more cooperative” America.

The Times of India hoped Obama would continue a strong partnership with India but expressed concern that he might discourage outsourcing, which would hurt India. In Russia the newspaper Pravda said “eight years of hell are over.”

In Australia, the Sydney Morning Herald applauded the fact that an era of “turbulence” had ended.

But, most touching of all the foreign reactions was the report from Kisumu, Kenya,the area from which Obama's father came and where many of his relatives stilll live. The New York Times reports that thousands of people there sang, danced, blew whistles, honked horns, hugged, kissed and beat drums. People shouted: ''Who needs a passport! We're going to America!''
In Caracas, Venezuela, passengers on a city bus, sharing drinks of whiskey mixed with orange juice from plastic cups, toasted the new president and one man said: “the United States is choosing a black man as its president. Maybe we can share a bit in this happiness.”

In London, the Times carried a front page picture of Obama with a caption reading: “The New World.” And another newspaper, the Sun, carried a headline: “One Giant Leap for Mankind.”

What's amazing is that our new leader has generated so much enthusiasm around the world 10 weeks before he even takes the oath of office.

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