|November 11, 2009|
|Obama Topples Australia, Reduces U.S. 'Alienation'|
|By Kevin McCauley|
|Barack Obama ran on a campaign promise of "change," and two recently released polls show that the President is delivering on the pledge. There have been big changes in how others view the U.S. and how Americans view those in power.|
A Weber Shandwick/FutureBrand survey released Nov. 6 shows there has been a change (for the better) in the ranking of the U.S. "brand name." The U.S. is now the top world brand, say 3,000 business travelers polled.
America moved up two notches, knocking Australia from the top perch. Adding to the misery of the Aussies, their country slid by Canada, which retained command of its No. 2 ranking. The Great White North is looking to make a run at its southern neighbor, expecting huge a reputation boost from a smooth handling of the 2010 Winter Olympics slated for Vancouver.
Of the current findings, Rene Mack, travel guru at Weber Shandwick, says its "logical to assume that the shift in the political climate and renewed optimism surrounding the election of President Obama was a key influencer in the U.S. topping the list."
Admittedly, Obama has his work cut out. The U.S. ranks behind Canada, Germany, Australia, U.K. and Australia when it comes to political freedom, which may be a hangover from the last eight years of meddling in constitutional rights. As for the locals, travelers say they would rather hang out with people in Fiji, Ireland, Aruba, Thailand and Bermuda than us. Federal funds to bolster charm school enrollment may be the ticket.
More magic from Barack: The Harris poll of 1019 Americans finds its "Harris Alienation Index" is now lower than it has been in all but four of the last 37 years. Why? Take a guess.
Let's go to the release from Harris: "The relatively lower level of alienation this year is probably a result of the 2008 elections and, for Democrats and African Americans, the replacement of President Bush by President Obama." The current alienation index dipped five points to 53, lowest since '04. Harris says the main reason is because fewer people agree with the statement:
"The people running the country don't really care about you."
Obama has been in office for ten months. Wait till he gets rolling. If the president gets a deal on healthcare or energy/climate change, and puts the U.S. on the road to departure in Afghanistan, Harris would have to kill the alienation index.
A good substitute would be the Obama "reverence" poll.
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