In the NY Times article about Barack Obama's trip to Afghanistan, there's this curious line:

The trip is intended to build impressions, and counter criticism, about his ability to serve on the world stage in a time of war. It carries political risk, particularly if Mr. Obama makes a mistake — the three broadcast network news anchors will be along for the latter parts of the trip — or is seen as the preferred candidate of Europe and other parts of the world.
Are we really that xenophobic as a nation? Isn't part of our problem with getting other nations to help us out with stuff the fact that our current president is a complete and utter douchebag? I'm not saying that a candidate's popularity rating in another country ought to be a major consideration in choosing our President, but it sure as hell shouldn't be a hindrance either.

I actually think that line says a bit more about the writers of the piece and the editors who sent it through. Even if they're not personally convinced that Obama's potential popularity overseas is an issue, they're convinced it will be an issue for someone. Just another way in which the right-wing has "worked the refs" in the media to the point where their point of view is considered the objective one.

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