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
March 6th, 2008
05:56 PM ET

Who can best restore U.S. position in the world?

Iranian demonstrators burn a US flag during a rally to mark the 27th anniversary of the Islamic revolution in Tehran, Iran. (PHOTO CREDIT: GETTY IMAGES)

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

The next president – be it John McCain, Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama – better bring a big shovel, cause it's going to take awhile to muck out the Bush barn. A top concern of many Americans is what's happened to our image abroad.

Americans are very unhappy about where we stand. Since February 2001 – right after President Bush took office – the public's dissatisfaction with our position in the world has more than doubled according to a new Gallup poll.

In February of 2002, the dissatisfaction level was 27%. That's not very long after the 9/11 attacks. That number rose to 50% in the lead-up to the Iraq war. It dipped down to 29% right at the beginning of the war in 2003. But it didn't stay down for long because when the American public found out the invasion of Iraq was based on a batch of lies, the rest of the world found out, too. Today Americans' dissatisfaction level stands at 68%. That's the highest level Gallup has ever recorded on this question, including during the Vietnam war.

There's more bad news. In February of 2001, the number of Americans who thought our country was viewed favorably by the rest of the world stood at 75%. Today that number has fallen to fewer than half of us, just 43%.

So when it comes down to it, one of these three candidates is going to have a lot of fence mending to do.

Here’s my question to you: Which candidate would do the best job restoring America’s position in the world?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?


Filed under: 2008 Election • U.S. Global Image
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