Chicago Sun-Times
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Majority Americans believe in CNN poll Michelle Obama boosted U.S. image abroad


WASHINGTON--First Lady Michelle Obama is back in the U.S. returning before President Obama from her first international swing. By every report, Mrs. Obama was a hit overseas; even the flap over her putting her arm around Queen Elizabeth fizzled. A new CNN/ORC poll conducted April 3-5 showed that the majority of the respondents said Mrs. Obama "made people in other countries" feel much more positive toward the United States (30 per cent) or somewhat more positive (50 per cent)

Below, release from CNN....

Interviews with 1,023 adult Americans, conducted by telephone by Opinion Research Corporation on April 3-5, 2009. The margin of sampling error for results based on the total sample is plus or minus 3 percentage points.

5. And what about Michelle Obama? Do you think Michelle Obama's actions have made people in other countries feel much more positive toward the United States, somewhat more positive, somewhat more negative, or much more negative toward the United States?

Apr. 3-5

Much more positive 30%
Somewhat more positive 50%
Somewhat more negative 9%
Much more negative 5%
No opinion 6%


It is amazing how someone's dislike of a person colors their opinion. The people who stated that Michelle Obama made the opionion of the US negative or either don't like her or stupid or just not telling the truth. They can't be that blind unless they are too ignorant to read or look at the News. Maybe they just look at stuff like Jerry Springer.

Michelle Obama made a VERY good impression in Europe. If you are multilingual, read the European press and listened to the comments on TV, you won't have any doubt about it. She actually got away pretty well with her touching the queen of the UK ... compare that with a the author of a similar previous faux pas who was labeled the "lizard of Oz". The French Président Nicolas Sarkozy commented on her intelligence, naturalness and simplicity, and he's not the only one...
Greetings from a Belgian

I think we finally have a first lady that is normal and sincere in her new position. she is down to earth and it shows in everything she does. I see that now she is being compared to Oprah but as far as I am concerned she is more of a lady. Her intelligence can not be compared. I truely believe that the Obama's will make a big difference on what people think of the USA. President Obama will go down in history as one of the greatest which will be well deserved. May God bless this first family.

Finally an international woman that girls can relate to. She is intelligent, vivacious and has a social justice agenda. The President and First Lady make a formidable team.

What's not to like about Michelle Obama? She's intelligent, ambitious, classy and overall fabulous. And this isn't even coming from a die-hard Barack Obama supporter (third-party voter). She's incredibly poised and radiates a sense of grounding and warmth. And I love the fact SHE was Barack's boss when they first met! I'm so proud of our First Family.

It's ridiculous to think that her presence in Europe had any tangible effect on general opinion overseas. This survey is flawed in that it gives no option for stating that MO's visit had a zero net effect on the "US image abroad."

Whose mind did she change?

France? where 80% of people polled considered the US to be their #1 adversary-and that poll was pre-Bush...

Russia? A country that will never be amicable toward the US and sees every US foreign policy move as a deliberate attempt at neutralizing its ability to regain its position as a superpower...

While there may be fewer books making a farce of the US president on display at stores in European airports, Obama's presidency does nothing to alter underlying attitudes toward the US. Having a charming wife is nice for your image among Europeans, as is coming off as a weakling appeaser, but neither helped Obama accomplish anything of substance at the G20 international gab-fest.

Well, I suppose he is helping to project a "weak America" image, which makes some folks happy, but beyond that....

I had not been a fan of Michelle Obama's, but I strongly admired how Michelle treated Queen Elizabeth. It was warm, friendly, respectful but not a royalist kowtow inappropriate to an American citizen. Her husband's bowing to the Saudi king however was highly concerning and deplorable. Maybe the wrong Obama was elected.

Why can't Michelle Obama just be Michelle Obama? Last time I heard, Oprah never had the title of first lady of the USA, so what is the comparison? Simply put, Michelle Obama is the first lady and is down to earth. Every first lady in the past had a different personality; WHATEVER".

Time for a change and we get that every election. Just say, you like her!

I don't see our First Lady being a fashion icon as anything less then a pleasant distraction to the daily stresses linked to the economic crisis. We all know substance comes along with style when it comes to Michelle Obama. I feel like America's own "royalty" has met British royalty and no one was left wanting. By the way, some people (on other blogs) are critical of Mr. Obama's outfit to meet the Queen, I think the subdued look is fitting, as not to deminish the Queen. I think if Michelle had gone with something too flashy it would have been in poor taste.

Mr Singh is correct in what he says but he fails to factor in the importance of what the public (and the media) feel about Michelle Obama.
If Mrs. Obama is well-liked and well-respected, that will influence the official "line" whether in France or Russia.
It's going to be more difficult for foreign administrations to effectively paint America as diabolical or selfish, if America's leadership is represented by the Obama's. And make no mistake, the Internet will inflence opinions everywhere.
No offense to Laura Bush, but America has upgraded its foreign image immeasurably and Michelle Obama is part of that improvement.
Keith in Canada

I think Michelle Obama represented America for what America stands for. I'm fluent in English, French, and Spanish, and I've read some of the reports from France and Spain, and they all stated that she is intelligent,classy,and she represented America with grace.

michelle is good for america and she is what people need is accomplish everything she needed
to accompish in European for us and I Love her

wow all these koolaid drinkers,the obama's are frauds.bowing to a king is a joke,plus they do not have a clue when it comes to gift giving as well. a i pod are kidding me.the so called queen got one in 2005.these staffers should do some research first.

I am a French girl living in the US.I watched the news in France during the trip of the first family .French people and French officials liked and respected the president and his wife, they recognized in them an intelligent,educated couple.I don't know what J Singh and others are talking about (80% of French are anti American ?????). This is completely wrong.France did not back president Bush in Iraq .That 's it!!!Friends can disagree time to time.It was serious matter, to go to war, French government chose to go in Afghanistan not in Iraq,were they wrong?Thank you, to all of you who voted for Obama. He is THE president who has a global view of the world...Obama will be a great president and will make United States of America, a great country , a respected leader in a better world.My best wishes to this country that I love.Odile in Florida

It is unfortunate that CNN appears to be unable to report the news/truth from "all" Americans. You seem to be hell-bent on distributing your ideology rather than a the threads of the tapestry/news of Americans'. For the first time in my adult life I am ashamed of America. We are the nation that has reached out to so many, many human beings around the world in a fashion no other country even comes close. My father fought in WWII and the Korean War, not by choice but, he did so out of honor. Ignorance and hatred is the only excuse I can comprehend to explain Michelle Obama's comments. She has disappointed me greatly and I would not give her nor her husband a positive approval score. I'm sure you will post this negative opinion especially since my amendment rights secure the right to free speech.
Jo in Arizona

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Lynn Sweet

Lynn Sweet is a columnist and the Washington Bureau Chief for the Chicago Sun-Times.

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This page contains a single entry by Lynn Sweet published on April 7, 2009 7:37 AM.

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