He called himself a “background figure” when he participated in COP26, but Obama’s influence is still great, even overwhelming the current US President Biden.
Former US presidents generally try to avoid casting a shadow on the current head of the White House.To ensure this, the former president of the United States Barack Obama COP26, a week after the opening of the United Nations Climate Summit in Glasgow, Scotland, and participated as an individual.
In his speech at COP26, Obama repeatedly praised the president’s domestic efforts Joe Biden When pushing for the passage of the 1.2 trillion U.S. dollar infrastructure bill. He also called himself a “background figure” for other U.S. officials in the event.
“I’m John Kerry’s DJ Khalid,” he said at another event on November 8. He was referring to DJ Khalid, a world-renowned music producer, and John Kerry, a senior US diplomat and climate envoy. inside.
However, in reality, Obama’s aura is still too big, unlike a “background figure.” He was welcomed as the head of state, and his speech at the event attracted a lot of attention.
Observers have also paid great attention to his remarks, and some even commented that he is the most popular leader on COP26.An article in the local newspaper Scot He even praised Obama for “inspiring Glasgow”, perhaps this is “the much-needed inspiration for the event.”
Only a week away from the end of the meeting, the heat that Obama brought to Glasgow is in stark contrast to Biden. The current president is still generally warmly welcomed, but his remarks did not leave much impression on the international media.
Before Obama’s speech, some observers thought that Biden was just repeating the same old message. Last week, French TV host Yann Barthès compared Biden’s 2021 speech with Obama’s speech at COP21, the 2015 meeting that led to the Paris climate agreement, and asked: “Everyone looks familiar ?”
For Biden, Obama’s lasting influence on the world stage is both a “gift” and a “burden.” Few recent American leaders have received such positive reviews abroad as Obama. Biden therefore benefited from his role as vice president during the Obama administration. However, in addition to this, the current US president is also under pressure to convince the world that he will not be overshadowed by the shadow of his predecessor.
Since 2000, the Pew Research Center has been tracking the attitudes of many countries towards the United States and conducting opinion surveys of thousands of people around the world to understand how the world views global views, the U.S. President and his policies.
When Obama took office in 2009, his positive views prevailed. In the United Kingdom, Canada, France, Germany, or Japan, and other major allies of the United States, about nine out of ten respondents said that they believed that the new U.S. president would “do the right thing” and “face global problems.”
After Biden took office, he did not get the overwhelming support like Obama. 93% of Germans said they trusted Obama in 2009, and in 2021, Biden’s ratio was 78%. Similar gaps have been observed in other countries.
However, Pew senior researcher Laura Silver (Laura Silver) pointed out that at present, it is difficult to directly compare the popularity of Obama and Biden in the world, because they only collected Biden’s data once.
“Both Obama and Biden came to power with widespread public trust, especially when compared to Bush or Trump,” Silver said.
But Biden’s global popularity after entering the White House does not seem to increase. The Pew investigation was conducted before several important recent international developments, including the withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan and COP26.
on the other hand, Another difficult task for Biden is that after Trump has been in power for four years, he must restore the global image of the United States.After Trump took office in 2017, his perception of American leadership has dropped to the lowest level, and confidence in him has hit a record low in most of the countries surveyed.
Trump’s “America First” policy has made him confront his enemies and allies at the same time, with only a few like-minded leaders, such as the populist Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro (Jair Bolsonaro). In almost all countries surveyed by Pew, Trump has received negative reviews for his global popularity.
After Biden returned to the White House, many foreign officials were relieved. “Welcome back, America,” Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo wrote on Twitter last November. At that time, a series of similar comments appeared on Twitter.
However, some people believe that Trump has left an indelible impression on the United States on the international stage after a lapse of four years, accompanied by a cautious attitude. Trump’s move to withdraw the United States from the Paris climate agreement, the Iran nuclear agreement, the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and other international organizations and treaties has raised serious questions about how to deal with the increasingly polarized United States.
“Although Biden will drastically reform politics, there is no guarantee that the United States will not return to Trumpism in the future,” Rosa Balfour of the Carnegie Center for Europe wrote in April.
In the COP26 speech, both Biden and Obama aimed at Trump. President Biden apologized for Trump’s withdrawal from the Paris climate agreement.
“I don’t think I should apologize, but I still apologize for the fact that the United States and the previous government withdrew from the Paris Agreement and left us a bit behind,” he said last week.
Obama agreed, noting that Trump’s term of office is “an enmity against climate science for four years, from the top leader of our government.”
But Obama’s attendance at COP26 and his lasting influence also Recalling the past, his hope has not been realized.
After the speech, the former president of the United States met with youth representatives to discuss the future, but some people accused him of not fulfilling his previous climate commitments.
Ugandan activist Vanessa Nakate said in a message to Obama on Twitter that she was only 13 years old when rich countries including the United States pledged to donate 100 billion U.S. dollars a year by 2020 to help poor countries deal more with climate change. But the United States and other countries have not fulfilled this promise.
“The richest country on the planet has not contributed enough to the money to save lives,” she wrote.
Obama wants to meet young activists, but “we want to take action,” Nakate added. “If the current president wants to break the bad impression that the United States does not keep its promises on climate change, he must step out of the old shadows.”
Wu Huang (follow Washington post)