DANIEL SCHORR: Immersed in the drama of a hotly contested election, some Americans may not have noted that large parts of the world were watching and hoping and, in the case of Russia, acting.
MICHELE NORRIS, host:
Senior news analyst, Daniel Schorr.
SCHORR: The warning of Russian President Dmitri Medvedev that an anti-missile system in Europe will be met with Russian missiles aimed at Europe might count as a first challenge to President-elect Obama. For the rest, the almost universal chorus of welcome to the president-elect, reflected regard, almost relief, going far beyond the needs of overseas civility. It is no secret that Bush unilateralist policies have been widely unpopular abroad. But to that must be added a warm note about Obama himself.
This was evident in the vast crowd that greeted the American candidate in Berlin. And an opinion poll in France in September reported 80 percent of French people saying they would vote for Obama if they had the chance. The European Union has invited the new president to a summit in April. European officials speak of a new deal for a new world. Agreements with the United States on greenhouse gases and trade are already on an agenda that will undoubtedly feature coordinated regulatory action to deal with the financial crisis.
Obviously, the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan will be waiting on the doorstep when Obama enters the White House, and even before. New authority for stationing American troops in Iraq and a new strategic plan for Afghanistan may have to be dealt with in transitional agreements between the outgoing and the incoming administration. Africa, with violence in Darfur and the Congo, will undoubtedly command the attention of an African-American president.
It was noteworthy that Kenyan president, Mwai Kibaki, in congratulating the president-elect, made reference to Obama's Kenyan forbearers and said that his election was an inspiration to millions the world over. Altogether, seldom has a new president taken office with such a wide-open mandate to repair America's alliances and friendships. This is Daniel Schorr.
NORRIS: At our Web site, you can give us your opinion about the election results. And you can find complete results. That's at npr.org.