The Ascension

The creation of Barack Obama’s legacy will play out against three fundamental backdrops: America’s financial crisis; the ability to shore up the power of the United States; and the willingness of Joe Q. Public to spend blood and treasure beyond ou

Issue: Jan-Feb 2009

WHEN BARACK Obama steps into the Oval Office for the first time .as president, he will be in the unique position of having earned the support not just of Americans who chose him in a historic and dramatic election but of millions around the world who would have voted for him if they could have. It has been widely observed that on November 4 the United States held the first-ever world election and Obama was the clear winner.

No other American president in memory will have started in office with such broad public support overseas. His international star power will help to recover some of America's credibility and trust lost during the past decade due to Iraq, Guantánamo and Abu Ghraib. And, it will allow Obama and his team to more easily negotiate the treacherous foreign-policy waters ahead in their first months in office.

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