[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i.l.cnn.net/cnn/2008/images/02/05/art.japan.ap.jpg caption=" A TV showing Barak Obama speaking at a presidential primary rally at a Tokyo electronics store. The Japanese on screen reads: Hillary vs. Obama, the 2nd match is a very tight battle."]
FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:
President Bush is in search of a legacy. How about this? He may be the reason there is unprecedented interest around the world in this year's U.S. presidential election. After his 8 years in the White House, people around the globe are seizing on this election's theme of "change."
Experts say that America's image is on the line. People overseas want someone who can "restore faith" in the U.S., along with our legitimacy overseas. They're hoping the next president will be someone they can work with, which would indeed be as switch.
Of all the candidates, Barack Obama is generating a lot of the buzz abroad. Some Germans are calling him "the black JFK." Many Africans also like Obama, whose father was Kenyan.
In Japan, the media are closely following both Obama and Hillary Clinton, pointing out that either candidate could make history. Israelis seem to prefer Clinton, because of her experience and her husband's relationship with the Jewish State. And a lot of Europeans – who are nostalgic for Bill Clinton's presidency – support Hillary as well.
When it comes to the Republicans, the Europeans aren't nearly as excited about them. They view Mitt Romney and Mike Huckabee as too religious and think John McCain as too old.
Russian leaders, however, like the idea of another Republican president – as long as it's not McCain, who's been very critical of their president Vladimir Putin. And, an Iraqi political analyst suggests a Republican president will be more committed to Iraq.
Here’s my question to you: Why is there so much interest around the world in the U.S. presidential race?
Interested to know which ones made it on air?
The world is more interested in the presidential race because we've increased our interest in the world. We've mucked around so much in other countries' business that the outcomes of our elections have a direct bearing on their own futures. We need to take off our knee-high mucking-around boots and start paying more attention to our own fiscal backyards.
Phillip from Germany writes:
Hi, in my European opinion, the people around the world are so interested in this year’s presidential race because they want a change in the U.S. Most Europeans are against the politics of Mr. Bush and they are against the politics of the war.
Our standing in the world is shaken. The world is looking to us to elect a president that can restore the once great view of America and the American people.
As a Canadian, I feel my attention drawn to this election because I've seen how George Bush has not only crippled the States but ruined relations with Canada in so many ways.
David in Malta, Europe writes:
I come from a very small country and most Maltese are living this election as if it is happening over here. America defines what happens around us, directly or indirectly. Democrats speak to the world, I'm afraid Republicans fight it!
Because the world wants to see if we are brave enough to elect a female president like other parts of the world have. It is certainly time! Look at Lady Thatcher! There is also Germany led by a female, and of course there are others. Why not us?
The world is captivated by the '08 race because it is a circus, and everyone loves a circus.