Europeans Eager For New U.S. President

An anti-war protester gathered at Parliament Square in London to demonstrate against the visit of U.S. President George W. Bush, sings and plays the guitar, Sunday, June 15, 2008. Up to 2,500 demonstrators held a small but boisterous rally in the square Sunday as Bush dined with his British counterpart nearby, police said. (AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis) AP PHOTO

As President Bush visits U.S. allies in Europe for the last time during his presidency, a new poll shows that a majority of Britons, French and Germans can't wait for a fresh face in the White House. CBS News White House Correspondent Bill Plante reports.

At a Sunday afternoon tea with the Queen at Windsor Castle, President Bush, who's enjoying the final leg of his European farewell tour, says he'll have good news for his successor.

"I will be pleased to report to him that the relationship between the United States and Europe is the broadest and most vibrant it has ever been," Bush said.

But much of Europe thinks of Bush as a cowboy who has ridden roughshod over the wishes of his allies. And they're glad he's on his way out.

"Goodbye," says one Berlin woman as she waves goodbye. "It was not fun, and I am looking forward to the change."

Here in London, there's still angry opposition to the Iraq war - and particularly to the presence of 4,200 British troops in the south of Iraq.

British Prime Minister Gordon Brown, who suffers from approval ratings as low as the president's, reportedly hoped to bring all his troops home by the end of the year. But Bush's position is that there should be no set timetable.

"If there's success we're going to pull troops out and I have absolutely no problem with how Gordon Brown is managing the Iraqi effort," Bush said.

The appearance that Washington sets the agenda in Iraq and elsewhere reinforces the European view that President Bush does what he wishes without regard to the views of its allies.

And according to a Pew Research Center poll out this week Europeans - a majority of the Britons, French, and Germans, believe a new president means a better U.S. foreign policy.

And for most Britons, French and Germans, Barack Obama's personal story and opposition to the war make him a heavy favorite over Joan McCain when it comes to their confidence in his handling of foreign policy.

But there's also a dose of weary European realism.

"The problems are still there to be resolved, so I think he will have a hard time when he is president anyway, you know?" said Rome resident Domenico Cavallaro.
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