FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:
President Obama may not be leaving the country this week - but it's likely his global support will be put to the test during the meetings of the U.N. here in New York and the G-20 in Pittsburgh.
As Mr. Obama meets with world leaders and addresses issues like climate change, the global economy and the ongoing conflicts in the Middle East - there's no question that this president is better liked overseas than his predecessor, George W. Bush.
A recent Pew survey finds significant support for President Obama still throughout Africa, Europe and Latin America. Attitudes toward the U.S. are also more favorable in some mostly Muslim countries.
The survey shows America's image has improved markedly in most parts of the world, reflecting global confidence in Barack Obama. In a lot of places - opinions of the U.S. are as high as they were before Bush took office.
But the question may be: Does it really matter? What's changed on the international stage as a result of President Obama's increase in popularity? The answer is - Not a whole lot...
North Korea, Iran, Russia, China, Afghanistan and Iraq all still present the same challenges to this country as they did before Mr. Obama won the election.
And - just because other countries may like our president - it doesn't always mean they're going to support his foreign policy decisions.
And the arrest of suspects in a terror plot this past week inside the U.S. indicates the terrorists haven't suddenly decided to lay down their arms and become our friends.
It's nice to be liked, but being president of the United States isn't necessarily about winning a popularity contest overseas.
Here’s my question to you: Is it more important for an American president to be liked or feared outside the country?
Interested to know which ones made it on air?
Carla from Alabama writes:
It is better to be loved than hated, Jack. Our country has seen the results of having a president whose my-way-or-the-highway attitude and refusal to even converse with other world leaders caused him to be despised in the international arena. We now have a president who listens to what other world leaders have to say, and who accepts responsibility for his actions. I hope the world continues to like Obama. Wouldn't it be nice to have real allies again?
Pete from Augusta, Georgia writes:
Jack, In today's dangerous world, we need to remember the words of Don Corleone in The Godfather (paraphrased: "Your enemies will become my enemies. And then, they will fear you.") A president who is liked in the global arena only emboldens adversaries to challenge him, while fear causes hesitation in consideration of severe consequences for provocative acts. Likability fades quickly but fear lingers.
Gordon from New Jersey writes:
Both, although I'd rather he be respected than feared. Bush wanted to be feared, but his fiasco in Iraq destroyed our military credibility. However, there has been a big change since Obama. Pakistan really is fighting the Taliban now, whereas before they were merely pretending to. What's scary, is all this talk of pulling out of Afghanistan just as the Pakistani's show up to fight on our team.
Jan from Punta Gorda, Florida writes:
I think a little patience is called for when it’s said that nothing has changed just because some foreign countries "like" President Obama. Like most of us citizens, they are just getting to know him. Also like us, they may like the "change", not just in skin color but also in attitude. However, we all are waiting to see if he is a man of integrity that we can trust and it takes time to build trust.
Jack, How correct you are! The president is not supposed to win a popularity contest, rather gain respect. If fear is part of what it takes to get respect, so be it.
Jack, "Like" is a start. Bush was neither feared nor liked. Let's get an international consensus, get the world back on our side again and then kick butt.
Jack, history has shown that neither answer is correct. It's more important for the president to be respected outside this country.
It all depends on who we are talking about. When it comes to the incorrigible and aggressive, such as North Korea or the nut case in Iran, fear is the only language that translates. With more civilized governments, mutual respect works well.
How about RESPECTED?
Is it more important for an American president to be liked or feared outside the country?
Why is this an either or? Why can't it be both?
President Obama does give that balance in the 8 months he has been in office. Something that GW Bush couldn't accomplish in 8 LONG years..
President Obama should try to strike a balance between fear and likability, but in the long run, fear and respect go hand in hand. A little fear can be healthy.
Liked. Fear just leads to an arms race and possible war because other countries are afraid of said President. Its always better to have people want to be friends and do things for you than it is to have people obey just because they are scared of you because then they will stab you in the back the moment they have the chance.
Nice guys finish last.
Both are equally important. Other world leaders need to know that our President will listen to them and work with them whenever possible, but they also need to understand that he means business if someone undermines or threatens the U.S. in some way. Offer the carrot, but make sure they see the big stick in your hand as well.
Neither, Jack - he should be RESPECTED. You can like someone who is ineffective, and you can fear someone who is unpredictable or disliked, but you respect those who stand firm on their convictions, and who treat others with respect.
We've had ineffective and liked Presidents such as Carter, and we've had feared and disliked Presidents such as George W. Bush, but our best Presidents are respected, such as President Kennedy, President Reagan, and President George Bush, Sr.
Well let's see. The world liked Clinton: No major wars, us and Russia got relatively friendly, Iran didn't make any major strides towards nuclear weapons, and North Korea signed an agreement with the US to end their nuclear program.
The world feared Bush: We invaded Iraq for no reason, Iran accelerated it's nuke program, North Korea accelerated their nuke program, and due to the very nature and vision of the Neo-Conservative movement that Bush was a part of, most of the world fears...and hates...the United States more than any other country.
You do the math.
Neither, STRONG would be a better choice. Obama is giving the impression we are weak and naive and they are dismissing anything he says. Obama needs to show them that we are STRONG and deserve their RESPECT.
Machiavelli says "feared." But I think Obama really wants to be liked, by other countries and by Republicans here at home. He'll bend over backwards to be liked, but sometimes you just have to lead even if it isn't popular.
Liked by the unknown soldier and feared by the Bernie Madoffs of the world.
Either is better than being hated (or perceived as foolish), which is why the Bush/Cheney presidency was so pathetic.
Neither ! Our Pres needs to be respected.
We have not had a Pres that has been deeply respected since Dwight Eisenhauer.
Generally if you're liked people tend to WANT to work with you. Its good for others to be seen as close to a liked President. Ask Prime Minister Stephen Harper from Canada (even though he continuously brushed off the recession until he chickened out and had to suspend Parliment). You tend to get more done this way and more people 'seem' to like you. Here's the catch. I don't think any of the leaders of the world can believe they'll get a comfy pillow, heated mattress with multi frim settings with 1000 quality sheets and comforter when dealing with the US or for that matter, the President of the United States. Give President Obama some credit though. He's got many heads of state all around the world to take note...He's the President and not anyone else. Let's get down to business and make things work. No matter what though, the US and of course, its President will always be feared, regardless of who is the leader of the country.
Our president should neither liked or feared, but respected. Respect is something our last leader sorely lacked.
Fear generates fear. To avoid the political paranoia of the Cold War, we would all benefit from being liked. The best way to earn the respect of the rest of the world is to be best in innovation and service to others less fortunate throughout the world. Now, if we could only accomplish that goal domestically!
Niether, nor. An American President must be a person of honor. One whose word is the will of 'we the people.' Whether the president is liked or feared is immaterial. The president must be respected in the United States and throughout the world. Hitler was feared. Stalin was feared. Chamberlain was liked. Neither was a leader that was good for the world.
Both. You must be liked well enough to make as many friends as possible who will cooperate with you but feared enough that those who do not want to cooperate will do so as well. Kind of like being a parent. You want to be liked so your kids will cooperate but if that does not work fear will do.
It is more important that the President be liked. The power of the US will always be feared, however as Bush II proved, you can't go around bullying people. His father had much more success building a coalition because he was more well liked around the world.
More important for whom Jack? If the question refers to the global community, it is better that the U.S. president is liked and admired. If one is a war mongrel zealot, American or not, the fear factor is important. Personally I like the idea of a well liked and admired president.
Jack, as you alluded to, internationally, it is only important that people like you if they support your policies. Otherwise, it only means the White House gets one more Christmas card, but none of our goals are being met. Nothing has changed on the international stage since the apology tour. Leaders of other countries are not moved the way the citizenry of the US are. It takes more than flowery language and good teleprompter reading to convince foreign leaders. They will need substance, which is something our President is short on. The only significant thing he has done is cut the missle program in Europe, presumably to appease the Russians, with nothing in return, and it appears to have made us very popular in Eastern Europe who were hoping we would honor our committment to them. We'll see how that turns out.
Simple answer Jack, one can always get more using honey and extending friendship than vinegar and a sharp stick.
If one had to choose between the two–and why should one???–I think being liked is better for us. True, "it doesn’t ALWAYS mean they’re going to support his foreign policy decisions," but it increases the likelihood. Our most committed adversaries won't like or fear us, but our allies and potential allies will respond more favorably if they like us/him. Bush's utter disregard for allies hurt us immeasurably.
Is there no in-between Jack? Can't a president be liked but also be feared because he is intelligent, assertive, right-minded and astute?
We've already seen the foreign policy results of a president who thougt instilling fear is a skill. Why not try leadership by respect?
"Like" and "fear" are not mutually exclusive.
World leaders are more likely to work with Obama to resolve problems because he is popular at home.
If by "fear" you mean respect and the knowledge that the President will but some clout behind his commitments, Obama fares well there, too. He has tackled a bold agenda and is getting the job done without concern for the extreme right or the extreme left. World leaders can count on him following through with promises and threats to them in the same way that he has handled domestic policy.
Jack, it is better to be liked because there will always be a group of people who want to harm us the difference would be if your are liked
you would have help to fight them.
It is better for the president United States to be respected then liked or feared.
Since there is no way for the world to like America and doesn't matter how much of good America has done for THE WHOLE world America should have a presidente that make the rest of the world to respect and fear America. Who cares if people don't like America. All America DEMANDS is respect. America must still be the No.1 Power in the world. This is the right time to send a signal the world over at UN next meetings.
You catch more bees with honey than with lemon.
No one has ever achieved significant national aims by being liked. Obama smoozed France and Germany over the summer, and asked for more support in Afghanistan. See any more troops? I don't.
Jack, is most important that the American President be respected. With respect brings results. Respect is what the previous President did not have.
America now has a power that is known more to foreign leaders than it is to American voters and that power was shown to the people after 9/11, but there's a disconnect between what is considered reality to Americans and what those foreign leaders consider to be the truth.
We've been dished 8 years of fear based politics by the right and with that nice added dose of incompetence professed so loudly in the media during the Bush years, Americans might just have a different perspective than those looking from the caves and villages we have invaded with our new SS type torture tactics that no one wants to look back at.
The reasons for 9/11 and those very guilty folks that seem to elude American forces may be thought of differently by foreign leaders as the military can't seem to remember why we started either war, and what we're still doing there. The plan to catch Bin Laden is all but been forgotten except for a little reminder by the president to those who want more troops.
Whose funding the Taliban again? and how in the world did the American Military allow tyhem to rise again? IRAQ!?
Jack-neither. I think the phrase that everyone is looking for is respected, and that is still a work in progress.
We had 8 years of the world being afraid of what our former President would or might not do. Now it is time for the world to like us, and give us a chance to prove we are not going to make them Flat and glow in the dark.
I'd rather he be liked and respected than feared, Jack. Never underestimate the power of diplomacy and our young President's great mind and magnetic charm. Remember, everyone was afraid of our last President because nobody knew what fool thing he might do next.
Yes I like President Obama .I also think Obama is very beloved in the world community. This is very useful for advancing how our nation is and should be by stetting a good example.
Does it make sense to fear the United States ; I don't know. Does it make sense for opportunistic regimens to know they can only go so far; yes. However we tend to use our military too often as means portraying power rather than seeing if our country can negotiate not to make bad deals but hopefully smart ones.
Washinton is no longer Of The People, By The People, For The People. It has become Of The Lobby Groups, By The Lobby Groups, For The Lobby Groups. especially apparent in the Health Insurance Debate. Lobby Groups should be banned legally. Give americans back there gov't
I don't think it matters one way or the other Jack. The president of the United States is no different then any other political leader and certainly no more feared or important to it's people.
The UN is a place for people of all Nations to come and panhandle money for what ever cause they see fit. For the most part they simply agree to disagree and then spend their countries money for other countries causes. Kind of a waste of time and money if you ask me.
Having family and friends that live in nearly every continent of the world. I can tell you that we are as scary to some countries as Bin Laden is to the US citizen. I know that is hard for the US to believe but most of the world would like to leave in peace. The Republican image is the Hawk out to conquer the world and rule it with an iron fist. So the world feels safer when the Republican party is not in power.
Jack, lets see. Do you want to fear someone or like someone? What good comes from fear anyway? War? I say the odds are better with like.
Dennis / Hartsville,Tn.
The President should not be feared, but he should be "respected", as the leader of a nation that has helped every other country in the world. However, President Obama will get no where with other world leaders with his "I am so sorry", routine. We need a leader who plays well with others, but who is no pushover. So far he comes off as weak.
Neither one Jack – Top of the list is “Respected”
Hey, aren't we lucky? (Yes!) We have a President that is liked, respected and yes, feared by the world. Knowing what is in President Obama's reach keeps the fear active where needed. We've had enough years of "rude, threatening, tough white man superiority" held over the heads of too many of our enemies, including those in the Middle East, for years. The entire world needs and wants, the U.S. to have a "leader" who is strong yet fair, respected and yes, likable!
President Obama gives the world someone to like AND respect. We are very, very lucky at this time. A continued "Thank You" to the 2008 voters! psv Crossville, TN
As always, the correct answer is prefaced by "It Depends". Who is the target audience observing the President? In some circles it is better if the United States, personified by the President, is feared more than liked. In other circles, it is better that the United States be liked. In either case foreign observers of our President must have confidence that both his words and his actions are as reliable as sunrise and as certain as death.
in Arlington, Texas
I think RESPECT covers both parts of your question. If a President/Leader commands and is given respect, it goes a long way faster, and carries lots more weight than just being liked or feared.
Perhaps some of our politicians should be intelligent to realize this... and help President Obama, instead of trying to make him fail, which just causes our country to stay worse longer, and destroys what little credibility we still have with a few other nations.
Pam holt foley al. Our last president wasn"t likedand can anyone rightly say that that wasn"t the real reason for 9-11? Nothing like that had ever happened to our country before. The republicans keep touting that bush kept our country from being attacked since 9-11, yet they fail to mention that... I think we will be less likely to be attacked if other countries are given respect, like we want given to ours...
A good balance of both fear and admiration would be the most effective in international situations. Unfortunately, fear is usually the only thing that the majority of nations respond to.
When you are dealing with people in general everyone should put on a happy face, and that goes for our leaders too. If you go around looking for a fight, you usually can find one, so being nice, and courteous to other leaders does not show weakness, it shows that you have confidence in your beliefs, and sometimes, more often than not, it gives the other party a little time to let their guard down, and smile too. No leader wants to give people an unfavorable perception, like maybe he is the aggressor. It never hurts to try to have peace, but if you arefighting with countries whom you just plain don't like, peace will never be possible.
It's probably best that our President be liked by our allies and feared by the rest. I wonder what they think in Honduras, however? I never expected our President and Secretary of State to be strong-arming a small country into violating its own constitution. And why would we want an ally of Chavez back in power anyway!?
Neither, it's more important to be respected.
Port Aransas, TX
Jack: It is more important the President of the United States to be respected than feared or liked. When a world leader is respected his ideas and policies are important to the people of the world. World leaders are more in tune with what President Obama has to say. I think President Obama will have an impact in the Middle East without taking sides, but rather working for peace and prosperty for all.
fear does not produce a single step in life. hitler, Stalin were feared but it did not give their countries any benefits in the end but defeat. so why should we not try the opposite to fear ?
Being a nice guy and apologizing only makes us weak and naive. We need to be strong, but respected and taken seriously. The presidents job isn't to be liked.
They all love Obama yet they keep ignoring his please for help and doing as they please! Gee, Jack, tell us somehting we don't know! Where's the news?
I'd rather he be respected.
Another extension for the unemployed to continue to look for jobs that don't exist isn't the answer. That money would be more wisely spent to pay them for retraining for green jobs to help build a green infrastructure that will make us self-sufficient which will keep jobs in the U.S. while keeping our air cleaner. We have a vast army of people that can help us survive this energy crisis before it starts to cripple this countries economy or put us at the mercy of oil rich nations.
Our President emulates Theodore Roosevelt. "Speak softly and carry a big stick" seems to be President Obamas' credo. He is and will continue to be both liked and feared. Our pror president was neither.
I do not believe that control through fear is ever justified. This is autocracy and patriarchal and always results in divisiveness and resentment.
We have used this type of policy since our creation and we have yet to rid the world of the evils we proclaim and have created more defiance and more evil in the world.
It is time to try a conscious approach and find the common purpose for our differences.
Theodore Roosevelt, my favorite President, showed us that its better to have countries thats not our allies to respect us by fear. Presidents should use his big stick diplomacy, maybe terroists would be scared to even think about harming the good ole' U.S. of A.
The Truth is and always have been this. The President of the U.S. does not and can not control the Agenda to right the economic ills encountered in society to date. Old FARTs who managed to engender the skills of screwing working people over time, does! They SHIFT JOBS OVERSEAS ; STEAL 401Ks ; COLLECT RIDICULOUS BONUSES! More importantly, they control those elected to Congress and steadfastly hold onto that famed GOOD 'OL Boy network! "You wash my back and I will wash yours!" You know, they are called CORPORATIONS, BANKS and/or INVESTMENT ENTITIES!
That depends on the country. For instance those who rule by fear only respect fear. This is relative in varying degrees depending on which country he's dealing with and the nature of the beast. At the end of the day the nice guys finish first!
Neither Jack. It is much more important for someone to be respected than liked or feared. A lot of people look at the American political leaders as two faced liars and crooks and in most cases it seems that they are correct. So people do not respect someone who talks about family values and then cheats on his wife or her husband.
Why does the choice have to be one of those two? I know people I don't particularly like but I do trust them to do what they say they will do. I think it's more important that the world realize they can trust President Obama. Once that trust is confirmed by American action the world in general can learn to like Americans again. I don't think you realize how much damage was done to that trust during the Bush administration.
I think both – Showing a willingness to talk and negotiate in fairness and showing some empathy for the other side is critical and that's Baraks strength. BUT, he also has to let people know that he will not be pushed around or played like a rookie-which he is.
JFK got hammered by that bully Kruschev in his first year and learned a lesson from that experience
The president will either grow in this job and show everybody that he is as good as we all thought he could be, or will be back in Chicago in 2012.
More respect is garnered from likeability than fear. We saw what happened when we followed the GOP's fear model, the world hated us. This is why so many continue to detest the Republican party, the fear mongers and lie spreaders have taken over the ship.
"Saving our American Dream" doesn't require that our President be liked or feared. I'm happy enough that he is seriously RESPECTED by the rest of the world, and considered to be empathetic to what's going on in the heads of our allies and our enemies. That's more than we can say about some of the birther/tenther wingnuts getting airtime in our own country.
Overseas respect for our new President may be just enough to stump some terrorist plans and give us a chance to do a course-correction on the knuckle-headed "axis of evil" Bush foreign policies. If Obama can stop pirates, bring home detainees and capture American-based terror suspects before they act in the first nine-months, then he must be doing something right.
Look at it this way, if canada and its people, england and its people, france and its socialists, germany and it folk, all like president obama and stand by him, our foreign agenda will abe a lot better off than if we wontonly attack contries pre – emtively without international support. IN other words its canada not north korea that matters, stupid..... 🙂
Isn't there another option between liked and feared? or do you mean "fear" as in the sense of revere? not trying to make this a game of semantics but I think it's important to respect the office of the president whether or not you "like" the person per se. I also think the president should be approachable and not sitting up in some "ivory tower" somewhere.
I hear some people criticizing Obama for appearing on late night talk shows but he knows that these shows have huge audiences that he can reach in a way that might not be possible otherwise.
Honestly, to be a world leader it takes a little of both. You need to be able to "win friends and influence people", and at the same time make sure that they understand you're prepared to beat the crap out of them if they get out of line. The first part gets you the promises of cooperation. The second part makes sure it happens.
It's a lot more important to be respected. To be liked or feared doesn't get you very far in this world. But, to be well respected, to be known as a man of your word. That's what counts, and that alone speaks volumes.
I would hope that internationally we are looked upon as a strong nation, one which will protect its own people and not suppport dictators,military coups, violation of human rights, or the soverign rights of any other country.
It doesn't change the playing field if other leaders like or dislike Pres. Obama. But it can be a slight opening to better relationships with our alllies and non-alllies if Obama remains popular outside the U.S.
Obama's popularity with our allies hasn't changed anything. It's more important for our enemies to fear us. Our allies are always going to be our allies regardless of the President's popularity. Our enemies are more likely to try and get away with things that they normally wouldn't try if the President is seen as weak.
Jack, the fear angle has been tried for over 200 years and look where it got you – loathed, hated and heading for national bankruptcy!!!
Time for a change in the 'ship's' course indeed!!!!!!
American Presidents should be liked. It helps to get there suppot. I know that the Canadians hated Bush, this this do use any good.
We Americans don't pick up on subtlety very well. President Obama is making the correct overtures to those who might yet come around, while hitting known threats hard. That is the way policy works. Many saw Bush's strategy of chest thumping and rash decision as strong leadership, but alas he was the fool who rushed in where angels fear to tread, and we are still paying the piper for his actions.
The goal isn't to be liked or feared, but rather respected. A person may be liked or feared but still not respected. It's the respect that makes a president or political figure a true player on the international scene.
It's more important he be respected knowing he will do what is necessary to protect this country and the world from the crazies (all those you mentioned above). Respect is earned and the crazies will not change regardless of who is president. They just have to understand that he come after them if they don't play nice! Sounds like Congress!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
after 8 years of being appalled – being liked is a good thing .But that being said–North Korea, Iran, Russia, China, Afghanistan and Iraq don't need to like him. They all have their own agendas –just like the GOP does .
Neither! Just respected. But he's too late for that...
The most current leaders on the world stage that liked to use fear as a way to show power were George Bush, Osama binladen, and the crazy Iranian leader. I don't think the world holds any of them in very high esteem.
Both - although I'd rather he be respected than feared. Bush wanted to be feared, but his fiasco in Iraq destroyed our military credibility. However, there has been a big change since Obama. Pakistan really is fighting the Taliban now, where as they were merely pretending to before. What's scary, is all this talk of pulling out of Afghanistan just as the Pakistani's show up to fight on our team.
Neither, Jack — he should be RESPECTED. You can like someone who is ineffective, and you can fear someone who is unpredictable or disliked, but you respect those who stand firm on their convictions, and who treat others with respect.
We’ve had ineffective and liked Presidents such as Carter, and we’ve had feared and disliked Presidents such as George W. Bush, but our best Presidents are RESPECTED, such as President John F. Kennedy, President F.D. Roosevelt, President H.W. Bush, President Bill Clinton, and President Barack Obama.
I think it is more important that the US cooperate with other countries rather than making them bend to the will of the US. It's easier to cooperate with someone you like, fear breeds all sorts of negative feelings, and I personally don't want other countries feeling negatively toward the US. If I, like I'm sure some people do, simply wanted to make other countries do whatever the US wants, I would say it is more important for him to be feared.
You're missing the point: Terrorists aren't expected to suddenly become our friends because Obama is popular, but there will be fewer people who BECOME terrorists because they won't be motivated by an ignorant bully of a president like Bush. There is a lot to be said for being "liked"-Obama shows respect rather than contempt for the rest of the world and we are safer for it.
He needs to be respected over a fear monger. We already had one of those and look what a mess we are in?
Face it Jack, we have a president who is admired throughout the world, that is an important aspect of being a world leader, remember he's fearsome as well. Does the Somalia Pirates ring a bell?
It is much more important for the American president to be liked and respected in foreign countries than to be disliked or hated as the previous occupant of the White House was. Hatred is not conducive to successful negotiating over differences between countries and leaves only one other option – war.
I think that you question contains a fallacy–there are more than two options for world opinion on our president. I don't think that he either has to be liked or feared. In some countries, both emotions might be true. I think that President Obama is respected by many world leaders–I don't think that President Bush was feared, liked, or respected. In any case, President Obama has raised our status in the world in just a few months–and that is great.
It depends on if we want to be looked at as a bully, or a powerful country that's willing to get along in a peaceful world. But then again we cannot do that here in our United States.
I would say it is better for the President to be liked. There is a better chance of other countries being more honest with us if they like the President thus the rollover to liking us all more. If a President or country is feared there is more of a chance of just getting lip service from other countries like we have gotten for so many years now. Fear is not healthy for anyone.
The President is more effective if he is liked or more importantly "politically popular." They should fear our nuclear arsenal and powerful military.
In today's dangerous world we need to remember the words of Don Corleone in The Godfather (paraphrased: 'your enemies will become my enemies. And then, they will fear you.') A President who is liked in the global arena only enboldens advesaries to challenge, while fear causes hesitation in consideration of possible severe consequences for provocative acts.
Likability fades quickly (ask my Ex Wife), but fear lingers.
"Liked"....as a man who says what he means and ( more importantly) means what he says!
"Respected" is better than feared. .....In this world ya get what ya give !
the other Bob Brost
owen sound, ontario
The issue is not being feared or liked. It's being respected as leader, foremost. This he has earned, by and large by comparison with his predecessor, who most outside of the US viewed as a clown or as a cowboy without John Wayne's courage.
Jack, you can't do either one or the other. It's important for international relations purposes for the President to speak softly and carry a big stick. The global population needs to get the impression, and rightfully so that our President wants to be peaceful, reasonable, polite and respectful but that he and us won't hesitate to let them know what time it is should they push us too hard.
If nothing else, it's better than Dubya's approach of speaking loudly (and stupidly) and carrying a sawed-off shotgun.
I'd prefer liked and respected, Jack, and I believe the president has moved us in that direction. I also think more than "not a whole lot" has been achieved as global cooperation on issues like global economic recovery and fighting terrorism happens, (often behind the scenes), when we are talking with more countries. Our enemies only respect strength and I think we have continued to show our strength while extending an open hand to those who oppose us.
Definitely better to be liked. While the president needs to be strong enough to not care if he isn't liked and still act in the best interests of our country and our citizens, being liked will foster global trade and political relationships on every level. Fear breeds contempt – that is why Al Qaeda hates us and I'm sure they won't succumb to any Dale Carnegie platitudes.
It is important that our President be trusted by countries outside of the US. It is good to be liked, but in many cases self interest Nationally precludes being liked. As a "superpower" our capabilities should be respected by our allies and enemies alike. Fear is not a good motivation for engendering socially acceptable behavior. Often fear is caused by unpredictable or inconsistent behavior. Mr. Obama, a really smart individual seems to be to be trying to bring predictability to our international behavior. Clear communication with friends and enemies should result in minimizing panic responses from our adversaries. However, when the President wields a "big stick" it is necessary that he be believed and feared. Deterence has been a successful strategy for over 70 years and will continue to be a valuable
strategy in limiting agressive behavior by our adversaries.
Internationally, honesty is a new tool in the mix and does not require that our adversaries employ it. I believe that if our behavior includes clear and honest communication we can improve our "likeability" around the world as well as gaining the respect of allies and adversaries.
Liked, Jack. Though Bush was neither liked nor feared. (chuckle).
More than likely, the improved US-World relations are finally approaching normal since the drubbing they took in the previous 8 years. The previous admin had some pretty bizarre foreign policies with virtually no consistency, and looked down with nothing but attitude on most other world leaders. It's hard to be a genuine leader when presenting that kind of image.
Feared...these other countries (Especially ones that can be enemies tomorrow) need to know that if they mess with us in any way they face complete annihilation. Nobody gets that feeling looking at our Commander in Chief the way he is now. Though being liked isnt totally bad either.
Having other countries liking our president help with talks and communication of the world . Unlike BUSH, OBAMA does not want to polarize any other nation.
I think a sitting US president should be both liked and respected by foriegn nations. Fear never get us anywhere. Hitler used fear, see where he ended up. The leaders of past communist countries used fear. Remember Tienamen Square China? When you raise a fist in someones face, what do you get? What I think is good is for a president to be liked by other countries, and to command a certain amount of respect, diplomacy, and dignity. Fear should never be a part of the equation.
Ron K. Temecula, Ca
I believe it's equally important for President Obama to be liked and feared. Countries with a good moral and ethical heart, like Scotland for example, and nations like Russia, which in my opinion has good at its core mixed with darkness waiting to be shed like graveclothes–these countries need only to like the president. Speak to their goodwill and they will support him. Evil leaders like North Korea should have a very strong fear of the president and U.S., because that's all they understand. To them, desiring peace is a weakness.
C'mon Jack, you're an old Machiavellian. As Niccolo Machiavelli pointed out in his treatise, "The Prince," "It is better to be feared than loved." Everyone I know that knows you, Cafferty, fears you, yet they still love you. If they were to love you first, then they wouldn't fear you. If you are feared, people respect you. If you are loved, then it doesn't take long before people are trampling all over you. Being loved promotes disrespect. Does that make sense to you, Jack? I hope so, because maybe you can explain it to me...i'm totally confused!
there is no question that it is very important for an American president to be be liked aboard..not only for his sake but for us as well as Americans. When I was overseas during the Bush Era it was like hell saying I was an American..people were looking to us with a question : what is wrong with Americans why can't you guys get rid of him???
It is also good for trade negotiaions on every level..don't you want to deal with people that you like??
It is more important to be liked, or better, respected. We are already feared with our nuclear arsenal, the dollar, and our conventional forces (i.e. the SEALS dealing with Somali pirates). It is important to be liked because we are able to accomplish much, much more when we have international support versus when we don't. A good example is our decision not to use Poland as an ABM site. This decision allows us to use airbases in Uzbekistan as a supply route to Afghanistan. When America is reckless, as we were by invading Iraq under imaginary pretenses, we are neither liked or respected. President Obama and Secretary Clinton are doing a great job keeping America a leader in the world.
Jack, the President may be more popular and more liked in many countries and maybe even by some terrorists, but there are still people in this country they may hate, so i think nothing has changed.
Look at what the previous Admin did – tried the fear factor & basically isolated the US which led to the US taxpayers primarily funding 2 ill-advised wars.
I say the President needs to be a Leader & set an example.
It is better to be loved than hated, Jack. Our country has seen the results of having a president whose my-way-or-the-highway attitude and refusal to even converse with other world leaders caused him to be despised in the international arena. We now have a President who LISTENS to what other world leaders have to say, and who accepts responsibility for his actions. I hope the world continues to like Obama - wouldn't it be nice to have real allies again?
I don't think we should have a President to be "feared" by the rest of the world, but we should have one more like Teddy Roosevelt and his "big stick" policy where this country wil NOT take any crap from the rest of the world by backing down when we really need to show our muscle. That means that other nations could most likely count on us being there when we are needed.
Respected, Jack...It is not important to be liked or feared but you must hold people to the principles of human rights and security with the opportunity to be feed, housed and educated!
It does not hurt that Our President is willing to call people out when they do not show basic human decency and concern for their own or other peoples! Or when they out right lie!
If our President can inspire confidence about his administration he is more likely to be able to get listened to. Fear gets in the way of his message abroad just the same way it has domestically.
BOTH ! He has to have a spine of steel but yet have a heart !!
If he has neither in this country what does it matter.
It is more important to be liked and RESPECTED as he is... Fear leads people to sneak and go behind your back.. Just think when you have a dog... teaching it to respect you and be the leader you have a life long friend... Teach it to fear you and he will eventually snap and bite you..
Jack: I think Teddy Roosevelt had it right. Talk soft but carry a big Stick.
A president needs to be tough, honest, forward thinking and persuasive when dealing with other world leaders. He represents our country, so if they fear him it's because they are not knowledgeable
about America, .If I know enough about my adversary I have nothing to fear.
John – Sag Harbor
The President really is representative of everyday Americans. So really, you should ask how you, yourself wish to be feared, or liked, overseas. I, personally would prefer to be respected, and I would think most Americans would feel similarly. So, how do you achieve that? Sadly I think alot of Americans feel that fear is the best way of gaining respect. I say its a cheap substitute, and causes as many problems as it solves. I'll stand behind someone who is respectful, has open-minded integrity and lives up to their word.
Fear is in the world, in abundance, already – Terrorism, Aids, Global warming, nuclear threats, hunger – just to name a few.
I believe the world would like it very much if the leader of America were working towards helping to resolve some of these issues .
I would say half like and half fear that way they wont get the idea that Americas a push over and they can tread on us without getting bit .
It has to be a combination of respect and strength. I don't necessarily believe the word fear should apply.
And, I know you must realize that with some countries, nothing would matter. But to have the respect for our president and country return
to many others, they will be more supportive of our ideas and policies.
The countries you listed will take unification with other nations to resolve problems.
We cannot go back to the cowboy mentallity, arrogance of before
and President Obama has made great strides in repairing all the
harm. He is doing a good job, Jack, and will continue to make
positive strides for us and our country.
How about giving him a break??
The president needs to be both liked and feared. However, the president cannot be afraid of not being liked. Sometimes you have to make tough decisions that others may not like. A case in point with President Obama is his support for the ousted Honduran president. This man was constitutionally and rightfully removed from office. Being afraid of not being liked by the OAS, President Obama has sided with him.
As a rule we avoid those we fear and embrace those we like and respect. Nothing good comes from fear, except paranoia. And do we want world leaders to fear us or embrace us?
Hi Jack. I believe that the Republican ways of being feared is, in many cultures, the opposite of being respected. Fear begets resentment because those who are feared demand the respect whether respect has been earned or not. On the other hand, being liked does not mean being respected either. I think what President Obama brings to other cultures is open mindedness and fairness. It takes great discipline to be open minded and fair. Your former president Bush did not have the opend mind nor was he ever fair enough to be called a man. He was childish in many ways. I appaud the character that President Obama presents to the world and would be a change for the American people to stand firmly behind their president now. So sad and disheartening to see grown up people acting the way some of your citizens have been acting. Grow up and be counted as decent, respectful and respectable Americans. Thank you.
I have no idea. When I've been on the other side of the world, I've been amazed at how little the news in the US matters over there. I just hope Obama doesn't cave on everything internationally the way he has on everything domestically. Single payer? Never considered. Public option? Fed to the jackals. And so forth.
There's a lot to be said for being "liked"-Obama shows respect rather than contempt for the rest of the world and we are safer for it.
Neither. If you combine the two characteristics you get an ingredient called respect. Thats what our American President should command.
Remember, "walk quietly and carry a big stick". Brown nosing our adversaries won't help.
Fear sometimes galvanizes those experiencing this emotion into forming a coalition to alleviate those fears.
Bearing this in mind America needs as many allies throughout the world as it can get and they will never obtain and/or achieve this through fear but rather through respect.
Jack, you are assuming that America has the ability to strike fear in other nations. SInce most Industrilized nations and China, India etc. or linked eeconomically and have a nuclear arenal thatcan blow each other off the face of the map , fear is irrelevant. It is better for our President to be intelligent enough and open enough to have discourse with other nations and if possible weild some influence to bring about common goals.
Jack, you are assuming that America has the ability to strike fear in other nations. SInce most Industrilized nations and China, India etc. or linked economically and have a nuclear arenal that can blow each other off the face of the map , fear is irrelevant. It is better for our President to be intelligent enough and open enough to have discourse with other nations and if possible weild some influence to bring about common goals.
I think that both, is really the best way to go. If you are an ally, and uphold the ideas of freedom and human rights for all. Then you should always find a friend in the President of the United States.
Oppressive regimes already fear the United states because we represent freedom and choice.
Ron – miami FL.
I believe that it is better for the U.S. to be more liked than feared.
When George W. Bush was president, he traveled around the world imposing his will on people like a bully. As a result, we ended up making more enemies that we could handle. With the way President Obama approach these foreign countries, they will at least have more respect for us.
There is absolutely no weakness is being liked, as a world leader.
The complete arrogance, incompetent foreign policies, nation building, and neocon agenda of the Bush administration make a fine point of how the world reacts to a bully. Please recall the memories of his eight year tenure. "Nothing worked!"
Watching Americas website exploded with enthusiasm the minute Bush left office.
It isn't all that important for a president to be liked outside the country, however a president being hated as Bush was, is a problem.
Jerry Wilson, Broken Arrow,OK
Either is better than the laughingstock of the free world, ie W.
I don't think the word should be liked. I think it is important that our President be respected, not feared. If our President and our country are feared by other countries then some will not willingly ally with us even if our interests are the same. Others will openly oppose us and arm themselves in defense. Is that what we want? In my opinion Mutual respect is sorely needed in the world today.
Jan in Punta Gorda, Florida
Liked and feared and respected!
To get all three, it requires time and actions!
Why does it matter if he is liked or feared outside the US? His job is being president, not being Kanye West.
Fear is not how you want to shape your world. It is so important that Obama is liked because it can cause change from within other countries if their people are encouraged by the American model. It can result in nation building and spreading democracy without ever shooting a single round.
Jack: how correct you are - the prez is NOT supposed to win a popularity contest, rather gain respect - if fear is part of what it takes to get respect, so be it.
Would you rather be loved or feared by your extended family? The last leader we had acted like an abusive alchoholic towards the rest of the world family. Now we are all in therapy. It will take a while to trust America again. But, with regained trust we can regain the worlds love.
I'm going to go with door number 3. It is best for the American President to be respected. "Like" and "fear" are part and parcel of respect.
Fear alone breads paranoia; like alone leads to being brushed off.
I want all three, and I believe with this President, we can have that.
I think it,s always best to be liked, but if needed fear can be a good thing. Fear should be used on countrys who backed the terrorist.
Jack,fear is the key. Anyone can give enough money away to be liked,but You have to show you will stand up for your Country and be counted when the chips are down to get real respect... You do not apologize for your countrys past and you tell the other petty dictators what you expect,you do not shake their hands or kiss their rings.
Both, but more liked than feared. When people like you they are more willing to listen and give you the benefit of the doubt. When people fear you there is a level of distrust there and potential deception because of that distrust.
President Obama is in a wonderful position, because he can really bring about the world change just by his actions and the way he handles affairs. He is leading by example, and everyone respects a leader who is positive, forward thinking, peaceful, and optimistic! It helps other world leaders to examine themselves.
I don’t want our President to be feared. I associated fear with hate. Of course I also don’t want our President to be despised or looked upon as an idiot, but we killed those two birds with one stone last time. Liked, definitely.
Better to be liked than neither.
Its more important for the U.S. President to be respected, which includes being liked and feared together, like Reagan.
AUGH!!! Respected is the answer. But if I had to choose on, it would be liked. Do terrorists' methods of fear work to change our minds???
Why do the only choices gave to be "liked" or "feared?" Being liked is all well and good, but it can also breed contempt. And fear leads to hatred. It seems to me that the goal should be to be RESPECTED.
Fear us? Who made us the ruler of the world? We are 1/20th of the world's population. If we ever want peace on this planet we will have to take part in the process.
Better to be liked!- Look where fear got us in 2001. Fear brings the inevitable downfall no matter the circumstance. Dismiss all the bull-Build relationships, be open and honest with your vision, and share that vision so everyone knows we, the people of America, are LEGIT!
Jack – I don't think it's an issue of like or fear. A President needs to have respect throughout the world. And, in order to get respect, you have to give respect. I think we have seen President Obama work towards gaining respect for the Presidency by respecting other countries and world leaders.
Hold your friends close, but hold your enemies closer, Jack. You catch more flies with honey than with vinegar. I think that while Mr. Obama is more liked outside the U.S. than most other Presidents, if he needs to, he'll take care of business. No worries.
With all the respect that the office merits I believe neither. I think that the proper term is: RESPECT
Respect would bring a combination of both, fear and liking. At this stage of our lives, respect is the way to go and keep the missiles ready.
It is more important to be respected. Fear creates discention and like sets us all at ease. Respect and revered leaves a bit of both
Fear begets enemies.
Being liked begets friends.
It may not have made a large difference thus far but if an international event were to occur, America would come out cleaner on the other side if other nations liked and respected our leader.
It is more important to be respected.
I think a little patience is called for when it is said that nothing has changed just because some foreign countries "like" President Obama. Like most of us citizens, they are just getting to know him. Also like us they may like the "change", not just in skin color but also in attitude. However we all are waiting to see if he is a man of integrity that we can trust and it takes time to build trust
Jan in Punta Gorda.
The president should be liked and respected in the eyes of other countries, especially concerning foreign policy. I want a leader that is able to communicate effectively with other leaders. Being feared just inspired suspicion.
It's not an issue of "like" or "fear"....it's an issue of respect. We want our President to be respected at home and abroad.
well jack that seems to be the issue in most politicians careers,whether there liked or disliked,having affairs,corruption,what ever it is.
but they all have one thing in common ,they have all forgot the reasons they where elected.
including the office of president,politics is not a popularity contest,you are elected to do a job,if you do it ,who cares if you are liked or disliked jack
Why is it always so important to American's to be feared. Respect is the key issues, if you have the world's respect you don't require their fear. Bush was not respected or liked, but the rest of the world deifnately feared his luncatic ways – where did that get you?
Jack...why so cynical? The question is whether you would like to project fear and create an environment more prone to violence, or whether you would like to project cooperation and create an environment with the potential of conflict resolution. Are you expecting miracles in 6 months for an environment that was incited by a fear mongering administration over years? That's just not responsible journalism to couch the question in such terms given the amount of time and circumstances of this administration has been given.
Linda (Lansing, MI)
It is important as a world leader to be liked more than feared. Being liked does not mean weak as some supposed and being liked also sends a message to the world that the American people are not snobs.
Your question is on the money. I prefer "Feared, but respected". Friend or foe, sadly, both are a necessity in today’s world.
Keep the thought process alive.
it is more important that the president be respected than either liked or feared.
Maybe Obama should gather everyone around a table in the White House Rose Garden for a good old beer! What can't you fix over some peanuts and beer, especially when they are served in silver and crystal.
Definitely liked! This opens dialogue for negotiation. If feared, there is no room for peace but only hate and war. Ask "W" about it.
Machiavelli would say feared. However, I'm not sure that respected wouldn't be the best.
He does not have to be liked but respected, so in a sense the liking and fearing come from the respect of doing right or wrong towards the US Citizens throughout the world. The US is a major world player and unfortunately at times we have to get in between to try to give stability to the situation. In a sense the American President must be like a father.
It's important that President Obama be liked and feared but most of all he needs to be understood. It's like I can be your best friend or your worst enemy.
Jack that depends on what a Nation outside of America fears. Will they have to fear Sanctions or lack of aid from America or a nuclear trigger happy president? Will they fear deportation or canceling of work visas? My point Jack is that fear comes in all forms no one likes it. Not in America or any other nation. .
Reagan was feared by the Soviet Union and won the Cold War. Gaddafi feared Bush and gave up his WMDs. Fear does work. Now if only North Korea, Iran and Venezuela would fear us also.
St. Martinville, LA
Jimmy Carter was liked throughout the world, Ronald Reagan was feared, because of this 444 American lives were taked out of harms way.
What is the matter with you Jack? It is not the world that are terrorists it is Muslims in the Islamic nations. When will Americans start understanding that the Islamic religion is anathema to peace and freedom. Even those muslims that call themselves moderates don't denigrate the terrorists. The old saying is: 'If you're not part of the solution then you are part of the problem'. Wake up everyone.
I think they both are of equal importance, Obama is well liked all over the world, yet I believe he is somewhat feared because of the unknown. Unlike Shrub Bush who was hated by everyone all over the world because of his stupidity and being somewhat of a bully. just because he was in charge of the military. I have Bush pegged as a coward if he had to fight himself. Probably paid for protection when he was in school to keep from getting his ass kicked. Being a cheerleader and not playing football should tell you something, and this cowardly jerk was elected president for eight years..
America is so used to being "the shooting cowboy" now and they cannot seem to see that negotiations and appeasement is not treason to America.
Jack: If you're nice some people take advanage of you.Or if you're feared,they hate you. so it's 50-50 No one know what is best THAT day or time
Although I feel it is more important for the country to be liked than feared; why does the media continue to put so much emphasis on what the president has either accomplished or not accomplished so early in his admin. We are only nine months into his term as our President. Give him a break.
Jack, it's a no-brainer. It's more important that the commander-in-chief and the country as a whole are liked. A superpower cannot survive if it becomes the most hated entity in the world. The fact that the Soviet Union was a hated superpower helped paved the way for its eventual collapse. America was heading in that dangerous direction under Bush's leadership. Thank God that President Obama is reversing that course. He is gradually restoring America's image on the world stage. America is now getting the respect she rightfully deserves. We are once again seen as a force of good in the world and not the other way around.
Andrew Nelson, Raleigh, NC
Liked and feared and respected!
To get all three, it requires time and actions!
Let me rephrase that: liked for the soft people!
Feared for the people who are used to living with fear only!
Respected because we should all discover in our own lives that we do not need to be liked nor feared in life...we should simply be respected for living well and treating others well!
I don't recall that either Germany or Japan were afraid of Roosevelt nor do I remember the North Vietnamese worrying too much about Kennedy, Johnson or Nixon. Why not try a different path and make an attempt to get along with the leaders of other countries rather than try to scare them. Our ability to frighten people has long passed.
Extremely important, if the president dosent have there support it will be harder to win this war. There is no question about it! There are many overseas that support the president. He needs more, or it will be come increaseingly difficult to gain more support.
You really miss the point - what is important is that we now have a president that is reasonable and can be worked with. With Bush we had an ideologue that nobody could work with.
Jim, Craig, CO
Jack, This is not a good question, I know you can do better. Answer is simple: both. Fear and love are not mutually exclusive.
Well, if we want world peace it's better to be liked; but if we want world domination it's better to be fear.
You've asked the wrong question, as sometimes you are wont to do. That won't stop me from watching but please hit the right target. What is required is whether President Obama is respected and trusted by those abroad and here at home. The answer is a resounding YES. And, that is what has the GOP in histrionics and a state of histeria. They have sorely missed the mark, while Obama gets it in droves.
It is important for any president to be moral, and not to invade a country which never attacked us, and kill a million innocent people, in the worst terrorist act ( The Shock and Awe of Baghdad), which causes us more problems.
Feared or like??? Is the president God....someone to be feared!?!? A popularity contest the world affairs is not, thus, no need to be liked either. Respect is a much better and worthy goal for the president to pursue.
I think that it is most important to be respected!
President Barack Obama is the most intelligent and respected leader all over the world...
You want changes for the US overnight...no way!!...former President Bush ...took the US down the trash over eight years..
Right the world admires and respects President Obama, but there's an enormous misstrust for US congress...wonder why??...
Just look at TEA parties, et al...
YES !!!...is much better that President Barack Obama is liked and most importantly, "respected" around the world...that reflects on the United States of America and its citizens...
I think you are confusing "fear" with "hate." With Bush in the White House we were hated with such passion that terrorists wanted us dead. President Obama brings respect back to the White House and with it, perhaps, some likability. The two are not necessarily the same. Terrorists are just that: terrorists. They will try to destroy us and our country in any way they can whether they "like" us or not!
The world was afraid of Bush and look what happened to the world. Heck, even we were afraid of George W. Bush.
Bill Clinton didn't get it right, neither did George W.
Obama has no chance as he keeps cutting back the stick.
Teddy had the right mix.
"Walk softly and carry a big stick." – Theodore Roosevelt.
Since you posed this as an either or question, I think that it is "liked". If you are, others are more "likely" to listen to what you have to say, and Respect You, which is what you REALLY want to be!! (Respected!)
I will say both , a little bit of fear is good as well as being like around
the world.Nothing compare with Bush and Dick Cheney which brought
this country to shame.
Fear is hate. Maybe respect would be a better choice. For a republican, Teddy Roosevelt at least got that right, "walk softly and carry a big stick". Unfortunately, those wackos over there now would probably consider him a commie pinko socialist.
It's not a black or white issue (ok, maybe a poor choice of words in the current environment.) Respect for the needs, culture and sovereignty of our global neighbors is paramount, but we must also make sure it's clear to the world that we will defend our own way of life, and that of our allies, with all due force.
Ability to communicate to those who fear and like us is definitely good for the country. For example, communication with people in Iran is an asset when negotiating with their leaders.
It's more important to be liked than feared, after all, you won't hurt someone you like but if you have a chance to hurt someone you fear, you could do it. For example, I love my wife, but I fear my Mother in Law.
I think it is more important for the U<S. President to be liked outside of the country. Possibly Obama has maintained his status because so far he seems to treat other countries and leaders with respect. He seems to try and reach agreements with both parties in a disagreement that are fair for each party which means each side must compromise their position to a degree but not so much that they are publicly humiliated or embarrassed but can accept the terms and not lose face with those they represent. President Bush always seemed to take a threatening position that was not well thought out and planned and took the big stick approach too often. He also appeared almost content making other countries to take a defensive position on just about all issues. In the long run I suspect respect will win over being threatening as an approach to other countries and their leaders
Jack, I think Teddie Roosevelt had it right "speak softly but carry a big stick." The world knows we have a number of big sticks. No need to rattle sabers like the prior administration. Opening up dialogues and relationships by being "likeable" is a large part of diplomacy with those people that think rationally; as to the "madmen" of the world they need to know that the "world" is against them. Win over the rational ones.
Why is it always one or the other? We need to stop our absolute way of thinking. Black or white, feared or liked, Red or Blue states. How about respect for yourself, your country and others. A world based on tough decisions, compromise and accountability. Sometimes bullies pick a fight and we must rise up to meet the challenge. Unfortunately, too often during the Bush Administration, we have been the ones stealing other kids lunch money. Engagement and diplomacy can guide us back to the pride we miss and the respect we seek.
Whether or not the president is feared or loved overseas is irrelevant. Like other nations we will be judged for our actions regardless of whose in charge. That being said it is nice to have an articulate and bright person representing the US around the world rather than a bumbling, spoiled, Texas buffoon.
St. Louis, MO
If you like and trust our president the fear factor is a moot point. Being approachable is a quality we haven't had for a long time. The most important protection action we need to take is to get out of Arabic countries.
Well Jack, Obama's character doesn't include being feared, or hated in anyway, unless we're talking about Al Qaida, or the Taliban. As president he represents our nation just like former President Bush did ,and Jack we all know how that turned out.
I believe the quote is that if you cant be loved, be feared. He is both loved and feared as he has insight that I believe the last administration lacked. Do you think the terrorists are thrilled that people in muslim countries like the president of the USA? Oh yeah, lets also remember he has the worlds most powerful military behind him.
The president has only been in office 8 months. Sure he has super popularity, but that doesnt come with a cape.
Neither matters more than respect. A well liked person doesn't necessarily get anything more accomplished. Being liked can get you elected President, being respected can bring results. Foreign dignitaries do not swoon over our leaders like the our citizens do, just because he can speak well and read teleprompters. For all Obama has said, he still hasn't actually articulated anything resembling a plan, a strategy or a clear vision of the world and our place in it. He lacks substance and all foreign leaders see through the smoke and mirrors. What moves the populace is not what moves nations.
Terror is what the bad guys understand. They know the USA President is concerned about his image and weak., and that is just what they want..
I think it is more important to be liked than feared. Our last president was neither feared nor liked outside of our country and that led to a lot of our allies declining to come to the table with cooperation. In the last few months President Obama has been able to communicate his point of views with the outside and because he was not born into a wealthy family and has humble beginnings he is welcomed as a normal person who sees everyone as people and not enemies. I like this better than being feared by outside countries. Hopefully in the next few years we will all see if you really can catch more bees with honey than vinegar.
Feared... it is important to have a balance but you need to be feared if you want to accomplish anything. Take the Taliban for example. You can be nice to them, but they still want the U.S. to fall
Popularity vanishes as quickly as it comes, and for reasons just as trivial. All the more should we not base the USA foreign policy on anything but national interest. Better that pirates and dictators and bullies fear the US President, than that they think he's cuddly or cool.
The bees come to honey before vingar. What do you think? Fear make s you more anxious and not think to clear and results are usually not good.
A choice between liked or feared?
I think President Obama has achieved respect around the world, As the head of our US family, he is both well-liked and taken seriously.
If you mean feared, as in the fear of God, that is great because it means our President and our country would be respected. And if being liked means the opposite, then I think you know my answer.
What kind of question is that, Jack? Of course it's better to be hated and feared by everyone in the world. All of that respect the United States earned after WWII was flushed down the toilet during the Bush years, and we're much better off for it. Peace, prosperity, and growth all around us. Why would President Obama want to change all of that well-earned hatred, when it works so beautifully?
Both in a way, but liked more. The word you're missing is respected. During the past 8 years due to the cowboy politics the Office of The Presidency has been dwindled down to a laughing stock. Anything that was done the past eight years, was a mere joke.
With President Obama's leadership, we may not get other countries to do what we want sometimes (and shouldn't expect it, especially where France is concerned and the Freedom Fry embarrassment), but at least there will be a chance of them listening and a minute chance of finding some middle ground.
From Los Angeles:
A nice mix of being liked and feared is ideal. A good President should be like a good father: You love him, but you know that if you step out of line you're going to have to pay some serious consequences.
Terrible choices: Liked or Feared! How about RESPECTED?
I believe President Obama is respected, he is not the self-righteous-idiot that George W. Bush was.
President Obama END the war in Afghanistan!
From where I sit, the world would be happy with competence for a change. That will probably end up with a president being liked, but voted out of office at home.
Jack I am from ST LUCIA, a beauyiful isle in the caribbean, if you did not know by now,I am abig fan of yours.I think president OBAMA should be liked and respected not feared,When people fear you ,they devise ways to grt rid of you.Mr Obama being liked overseas gives him the benefit of the doubt on decisions he makes in the eys of people like me from overseas obviously.The old addage I have heard from americian NBA players,on the way to the top we dont care who gets trampled on,does not reflect a good image of the USA.Popularity is good,it gives you a chance, your fans root for you.The USA got a chance now, DONT BLOW IT. you hear me.YEAH MAN.
Well Jack, if we want world peace it's better to be liked; but if we want world domination it's better to be feared.
It doesnt matter if Islamic Fundamental Terrorists like you or not if they are still trying to kill you because you are an infidel...at the end of the day, you would still be dead!
It doesn't make a difference whether an American president is liked or feared around the world, trust is most important and that takes diplomacy.
I think its only a question of which ideology a U.S. President embraces. Both George Bush for his role In The War On Terror and even Lyndon Johnson for his role in Vietnam respectively made drastic decisions in their Policies. I guess in the end it depends what your stance is Jack. My Stance? Yes they should be feared.
Your question, " Is it more important to be liked than feared" reminded me of another question........ Do I prefer to be feared or respected by my kids???? My answer to both questions is, BOTH......
It's more important for the President of the United States to be respected. It's not a matter of liking or fearing. With respect, other countries will work with us. With dislike or fear, you get no where. President was not respected by a large part of the world's population. President Obama is. I'll take that any day.
Yes I think our President, should be like over seas, it is important to for the United States, to have a person in the White House that people like and want to get to know. It will help us in many ways, to have a likeable President. Thank you Phyllis from the state of Mississippi.
For too long fear has been used to control our unsuspecting population. These days, fear has become less and less effective. It is better to be loved than feared because, eventually, people overcome their fears. They conquer their fears. Those who rule by fear see their reign of terror come to a disasterous end. (See GW Bush and Cheney)
Love is more powerful and effective than fear will ever.
Unfortunately I join the milieu on this one – it matters that our President is respected, and that America is respected. Whether the President is liked or feared isn't the question that matters. For us to be effective on an international stage they don't have to like him, they don't have to like us... they have to respect us.
Being liked allows foreign leaders to cooperate with our President without facing a backlash among their constituents.
Should Islamic Fundamental Terrorists fear our President or should our citizens live in fear of the terrorists???
Liked or feared ? How about RESPECTED !
You can accomplish much more with people you like than with people you fear. People who fear you, also resent the power that you hold over them. If they fear you, they will work against you (in secret) and hope that you fail. We need people working with us, who really want us to accomplish great things for ourselves and the world community. Trust is needed for a successful Partnership and who do you trust more, people you like or people you fear?
Mountain Home ID
Russia and China; our President needs to be liked because we are now in debt to them. North Korea ,Iran and Venezuela; Rogue Nations, he could “play” with them to a point were he is feared (kind of give them a light diplomatic spanking, if they ask for it). Iraq and Afganistan are a work in progress they need qualified help settle their internal problems to a manageable state. Generally speaking much more can be accomplished if our President is liked, open and friendly. Let the rogue Nations continue to make fools of themselves.
A lot of the posters are saying "liked" or "respected," but they apparently didn't read Jack's article first. Even though other countries like and respect Obama, they're not giving us any more help than they did under Bush, whom they didn't like or respect. It seems like other countries just do what they feel is in their interest, regardless.
You can't fear a guy that can't even get health insurance for his own countrymen. You can't fear a guy who apologizes to a racist police officer. You can't fear a guy who is too naive to recognize the real racial climate in his own country. You should fear and like a president... but you could never fear this president.
Whether a President is liked or feared other countries will act in their own best interests. When those interests coincide with those of the US, they cooperate.
The US, mired in debt on a national and individual level, with its military stretched thin and deep divisions internally, is not as powerful in other countries' eyes as it might like to think. It needs to get its own house in order.
I think President Obama has a longer, more complex vision than most politicians and that that is what the US and the globe desperately need.
Guess what we have in the box? The world knows and doesn't care. If the world simply had someone in charge of this country that can pronounce nuclear with or without a curtain behind him spelling it a hundred times they might calm down. Oh yeah we have that man now. No one anywhere thinks Obama is not a thinking man. I like my president, so blame me for being patriotic. If we let this man fix what's broke, he well. Clinton did it and we had to gut him over a small indescretion. President Obama has a great and pretty wife and beautiful children. We need to think about what country we believe in and start believing in it. This carrying guns thing and wearing costumes thing and all these stupid signs that don't make sense thing need to stop. We need to care of the United States of America not whatever greedy or cause and effect thing you are doing! Quit letting the already rich pull your strings and stand up for us, americans as people! Rodney Dangerfield once said good in bed means the three of us don't fight. let's quit fighting please we need to fix this.
This president represents the "Everyday American" to many outside the country and most countries seem to like the "Everyday American". Anyone who thinks being feared is the most important thing is very insecure. We already know we have the might to hurt others if we have to. I for one prefer to speak to others with respect and intelligence, rather than with condescending tones and attitude.
Whether he is liked and/or feared I hope he is respected. It used to burn me up to see the way Putin smirked whenever Bush did or said something stupid. Bush was an incurious, intellectually challenged clown. Potential adversaries might not see as much to hate or exploit in the current President, but if they respect him they will understand that even a nice guy will use American power to protect American lives. cy arlington, va
Other countries leaders are more likely to be cooperative and work with other nations who, they see as reasonable and rational. We've seen who was willing to work with George Bush, fear didn't get him anywhere.
It is okay to be liked but that doesn't mean bending over backwards to kiss you know what.
When you are at the top of the heap you are hated because people are jealous. Come to think of it Obama will make this country liked through his policies which will put us on the bottom of the heap.
There's a pattern here. RESPECT. I, and it appears more of the world, RESPECTS Obama. Like or fear??? Not the operative verbs. Respect tends to include alittle of both. George Bush – Seems likeable, but no respect, and he scared the hell out of me.
The right rejoices in stating that we are a Christian nation. They defend Christian prayer in schools and the display of the 10 Commandments in our courts. So I have to ask our conservative friends and value voters where in the Sermon on the Mount did we learn that being feared was better than being liked?
Fear or liking will come naturally to people depending upon their own disposition towards the US.
Those out there who nurse ill-will and hatred towards us, have reason to fear for US Presidents have never balked at bringing them to justice no matter what the cost.
I have seen in most parts of the world, American Presidents being looked up to as champions of freedom who have always come to the aid of countries in times of need.
They are more liked than feared on a scale of 9.1 and I do not think anything is going to change that.
It is far more important for an American president to be liked & respected outside the US. E.g., recently fears have been engendered in citizens of our own country by some Republican & corporate sources which have ignited hate & disrespect for our President & our Congress which might easily turn to into acts of violence. Dignity, honor, truth & respect should be used in dealing with other countries. My Grandma used to say: "Do unto others as you would have them to unto you." Might just work better than the ways foreign countries have been dealt with in recent years.
Respectfully, Becky in Sarasota
You chose the wrong adjectives, Jack. It isn't important whether the President of the U.S. is feared or liked. What matters is that the U.S. leader is respected. Respected because of intellect, honesty, fairness and a general premise that we are the United States of America, not the United Empire of the World therefore our respected leaders work in conjunction with and in cooperation with world partners for the general good of the planet and the ultimate welfare of all people, including us.
Silver City, N.M.
I think liked is more important and throw in respect. Some of the boneheads in other country's have no fear of anything. We had eight years of fear throwed at us, just to get votes etc, we don't need that again.
A country that operates on FEAR alone is doomed to perpetual war, Jack. The global war is no longer a place where a military super power can exert its will.
The question also is a despicable one as it insinuates the President is more concerned with being liked which is a biased and unfounded premise to start with.
A combination of “like and respect” would be the ideal for any ruler of any country in the world; why rule by intimidating others?.... Your comment that President. Obama is well liked in all Latin American countries is unfortunately far from the truth; he is well liked in those countries that are rule by socialist/communist regimes
It doesn't matter too much if the U. S. President is liked or feared. What matters is that he be effective.
That question doesn't matter either.......President Obama, and Secretary Clinton will shape some of the most powerful foreign policy, post President Bush.....diplomatically I suspect we will see many issues ironed out over time.......
The thing about President Obama I'm beginning to learn, is that like many affective Presidents, he presents a gloved iron fist, with a smile which is effective......
The fact remains, countries don't necessarily fear the POTUS, but rather power they hold and wield at will.......Countries fear our armed forces, and once restored, our economic prowess.
President Barack Hussein Obama should be respected. That is something our president is not worldwide. He is seen as a wimp or coward. I believe Theodore Roosevelt's quote "Talk Softly and carry a big stick would be appropriate in this era. It is unfortuante that liberal presidents like Jimmy Carter and Obama make concessions to our enemies and the tax payer is made to pay for their mistakes.
It depends on the time frame you're talking about. In the long run, being liked means being trusted which means less scrutiny and better cooperation. In the short term, being feared means you're more likely to get what you want with some haste. Overall, I'd say being truly liked is best... though that 'truly' can make all the difference.
Jack, I believe having our President liked outside our nation is very important. The more respect he gains from abroad lowers incentives for them to do us harm. If I see shoes hurling toward our new Presidents head , that’s when I will start to worry.
I think it is most important for a president to be trusted and respected.
It's been less than a year since the election. Changing people's (and nation's) behavior and policies is a process, not a switch that you turn on and off. It begins with diplomacy, respect (where merited), and hard work. So far, the hard work has been undoing the damage inflicted by the previous administration. Given a little more time, the changes could come incrementally. At a minimum, the momentum on climate change and other critical issues will start moving again.
Personally, I feel that the chances of progress are far greater when people are face to face and talking, rather than standing behind their own lines and "yelling".
Seeing we are headed towards more and more of a global economy,nations of the world will not do business with someone it fears.I don't mean business with terrorist but respect for our allies and respect for each other within our own political parties.Not like that guy that yelled out at the president. A total disregard for an elected official.The rest of the world is watching what the United States says and does.You would think that would bring humility and bring both parties together to solve the tough issues that we as a nation face. Paul McCoy of Sac.
Like you said, "both" except that respect , rather than fear, goes hand in hand in hand with like. Remember, we are America, not Assyria.
Eight years of the Bush administration showed that leaders like Vice-Preident5 Cheney confused hard nosed with thick headed, leading us to great harm. Liking doesn't guarantee President Obama success abroad but it opens the door to rescuing us from the dangers into which we have fallen, the product of people who hate us and of our own mistakes.
Boca Raton, Florida
The President is the embodiment of the United States of America. Historically we have been liked by our friends and allies, and feared by our enemies. He should convey our values of truth, justice, and the American way.