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VOICES

Hopes for Obama’s Second Term, From Around the World

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CREDIT: Flickr/ Dianatung

Four years ago, young people around the world hailed President Obama's first inauguration as a potentially transformative moment, citing hopes for immigration reform, a move towards softer-edged American diplomacy, and a renewed focus on global development.

While the President's international approval rating sagged since taking office in 2009, he remains a popular figure abroad. Opinion research conducted during the 2012 election showed President Obama preferred over Mitt Romney by the residents of every country polled but Pakistan. 

In an unscientific survey of this reporter's international contacts, Campus Progress found that hopes among young people for President Obama's second term remain high—though they are now tinged with more concern than they were four years ago. Here are a few of their comments:

Gracia Paramitha, aide in Indonesia's Ministry of Environment

"My simple hope for President Obama is that he live up to the promises made in his inaugural speech [to combat climate change]. As always, his tagline is 'make a change.' Obama should make a change in American environmental policy [and help the world reach international consensus] on post Kyoto Protocol negotiations."

John Lindsay, student at Coventry University, England

"I’d like to see Obama implement [even more] reforms so that healthcare is easily available to rich and poor alike," referencing Britain's national health system. "Healthcare which isn't ever dependent on how much money is spent on insurance."

Helgi Helmisson, Icelandic expat in Bangkok

"Increase developmental aid to African countries and stop killing hundreds of people with drones every year."

Farhad Zulfikar, student at Asian Institute of Technology, Pakistan

"From a Pakistani point of view, U.S. foreign policy is very important… because it determines the level of trust of Pakistani people [have in the] U.S. government. A more aggressive policy is likely to increase the trust deficit not only among governments but also among the people of Pakistan towards U.S. government. So I expect U.S. foreign policy to be more clear, comprehensive, [and to work toward] mutual understanding."

Konstantinos Georgiou, unemployed, Greece

"I hope President Obama will help convince the leaders of other countries that budget cuts aren't always good if they're on the backs of ordinary people. But mostly, I'm happy to see him re-elected. I think he gives people around the world constant hope that our lives will continue to change for the better."

Zach Duffy is a reporter for Campus Progress. Follow him on Twitter @zachduffy.

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