April 2nd, 2008
05:53 PM ET

Is America’s image on the mend?

Pakistani protesters burn U. S. flags in Quetta, Pakistan. (PHOTO CREDIT: AP)

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

Here's how you can tell we're coming to the end of President Bush's second term. America's image abroad - which has taken a serious pounding over the past 7 years - is starting to rebound… at least a little.

A new poll conducted for the BBC surveyed more than 17,000 people in 34 countries. The number of people who say the U.S. has a positive influence is now at 35%, compared to 31% a year ago. Those who say the U.S. has a negative influence is at 47% today, and that's down from 52% last year.

Also, positive views of the U.S. – in the 17 countries polled every year since 2005 – is actually up for the first time in four years. Nonetheless, the poll shows that views of U.S. influence in the world are still mainly negative, even though they've improved in half of the countries that were polled last year.

A State Department official acknowledges that views of the U.S. have been negative in recent years, but said 2003 and 2004 were a quote "anomaly." That's when we invaded Iraq using phony intelligence. He called public opinion a "lagging indicator of what we are doing."

The next president will have an opportunity to build on these numbers and help restore this country's image to what it used to be, when we were well-liked and respected by many more people around the globe than we are today.

Here’s my question to you: A new poll suggests America’s image is improving in many countries overseas. Why?

Tune in to the Situation Room at 6pm to see if Jack reads your answer on air.

And, we love to know where you’re writing from, so please include your city and state with your comment.

Filed under: U.S. Global Image
April 2nd, 2008
04:57 PM ET

McCain: Americans cynical about their country

Sen. John McCain speaks at the Navy and Marine Corps Memorial Stadium today in Annapolis, Maryland. Click the Play Button the see what Jack and our viewers had to say.(PHOTO CREDIT: GETTY IMAGES) 

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

Telling the American people they are cynics may not be the best way to get them to vote for you for president... but that's what John McCain is doing.

In a speech at the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland today, the presumptive Republican nominee talked about the reasons why he thinks many Americans have become cynical about our country. He says for some, it's because of the state of our economy. For others, it's a reaction to the government's mistakes and incompetence. But McCain thinks that in some cases the cynicism isn't a reaction to feeling let down by the government, country or social institutions, but rather a result of people taking this country and the liberties it provides for granted.

He says that for some Americans, their idea of liberty is "the right to choose among competing brands of designer coffee." McCain says if Americans find fault with our country, they should make it a better one. He also calls on people to take on a greater cause than themselves, by doing things like joining the military, running for public office or helping feed the hungry.

There is also an update when it comes to McCain's age and health status... his campaign is now saying the candidate's medical records will no longer be released by April 15th as they had previously promised. Instead, they're now saying we should see that stuff "sometime in May."

Finally, James Dobson, a leading conservative and founder of "Focus on Family," in a personal letter to the Wall Street Journal says, "I have seen no evidence that Senator McCain is successfully unifying the Republican Party or drawing conservatives into his fold."

Here’s my question to you: Is it helpful to John McCain’s campaign to say Americans are cynical about their country?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?


Filed under: John McCain
April 2nd, 2008
02:25 PM ET

Is time on Clinton’s side in Pennsylvania?

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FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

Just under three weeks to go before the Pennsylvania primary, which seems like an eternity in the epic struggle between Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama.

History suggests that the more time Obama has to campaign somewhere, the better he does. A new poll seems to bear this out. The Quinnipiac University poll shows Clinton with a 9-point lead over Obama... 50% to 41%,that's down from a 12 point lead two weeks ago.

Also, Obama continues to rack up endorsements from some pretty key figures. Today former Indiana Congressman Lee Hamilton, co-chairman of the 9/11 commission and a former chairman of the Foreign Affairs and Intelligence Committees, endorsed Obama. Hamilton's endorsement could carry some weight in his home state of Indiana, which has yet to vote and it could boost Obama's standing on national security.

Meanwhile, Clinton took a hit this morning from New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd who described the former first lady as "tougher" than Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. It wasn't meant as a compliment.

And remember Clinton's argument that she is the only one able to win the big states? Well, it turns out she didn't win Texas on March 4th. Although Clinton won the primary she lost the caucuses. And Barack Obama actually walked out of Texas the winner, collecting more delegates than Senator Clinton: 99 to 94.

Here’s my question to you: Is the long stretch of time before the Pennsylvania primary to Hillary Clinton's advantage or disadvantage?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?