What a difference one man can make. Looking in from outside, there seems to be a new America. Here in Britain, I must admit that we are now a touch jealous. If only our Prime Minister was half as impressive!
You may not realize this, but the Obama effect is being felt across the world. In less than two weeks your new President has made quite an impression. And not just at home. He had his first 'sit down' interview with an Arabic television station - universally considered to be a very clever move, which has opened up many interesting possibilities for your future relationship with the Islamic world. He announced the closure of Guantanamo Bay. He banned torture. To be honest, he has already made his predecessor a deep, dark and distant memory.
Indeed, for many of us, it seems there is nothing Obama cannot do - there is a renewed feeling of hope spreading out from your shores and we are all buoyed by it. It's such a contrast to the last eight years - now we hang on Obama's every word and watch his every move.
Even the European Union is feeling more positive towards the U.S. because Obama's stance on climate change is in sharp contrast to that of Mr Bush's.
But, so far, all your new president has proved is that he can talk the talk without any problems. We now need to see him pull on his toughest boots and prove he can walk the walk. During the campaign, Obama hinted that his administration would be nothing like that of the last incumbent, which got many of us pretty excited.
But we have all got to be realistic about what one man can do - Barack Obama himself has warned of exaggerated expectations of his presidency. Can he fix your ailing economy? Will his massive bail-out actually work? Can he save the automobile industry from collapse? But here in England, there is one noticeable change though - US ex-pats are no longer claiming to be Canadian. Yes, that's right, over here, at least, Americans are learning to walk tall again. Let's see if it lasts.
By Petrie Hosken
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