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May 26th, 2010 12:33 pm
Will Obama Blame Bush for America’s Popularity?

It’s become a bit of a cliché in the Obama Administration to blame George W. Bush for…well, just about everything wrong with the country.  Job numbers are down because of the previous administration’s mismanagement of the economy.  The deficit is exploding because Bush & Co. started two allegedly needless wars.  Even the Gulf Oil Spill catastrophe is being laid at the feet of alleged coziness between Bush Era regulators and BP management.  If nothing else, the Obama White House knows how to trace problems occurring on its watch to other people.

Will it do the same with success?  According to Gallup polls of foreign nations, America is most popular in Sub-Saharan Africa.  The fact that President Obama’s ancestry touches the region doesn’t explain fully the reason.

So you might be asking yourself, “why Africa?”

It’s a good question, one our friends over at Gallup have given some consideration in past surveys. Since 2008, Sub-Saharan Africa may be the one region of the world where the United States has reaped the highest benefits of what has been termed “The Obama Effect.” Being of Kenyan descent, Obama enjoys high approval ratings throughout much of Africa. More substantively, 5 out of the 7 listed nations have been targeted in the president’s $3.5 billion Feed the Future initiative.

And let’s not give the 44th president all of the credit. Obama’s predecessor, George W. Bush, invested American aid and resources into Africa at a record pace. President Bush’s PEPFAR program was a groundbreaking policy endeavor, and while Bush’s domestic approval numbers were low upon leaving office, U.S. approval throughout much of Africa remained rather strong.

As with much of his social spending, the most recent President Bush doesn’t get the credit he deserves for the good – and goodwill – many of his initiatives achieved.  Still, it must give W some sort of quiet pride to know that America’s popularity in Africa can be traced directly to his policy decisions.

H/T: RealClearWorld

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