Mission Accomplished… Obama Celebrates America's Diminished Role in World
U.S. President Barack Obama is positioned into place by South Korea’s President Lee Myung-bak (hidden) and First Lady Kim Yoon-ok at the official arrival for the G20 Summit working dinner at the National Museum in Seoul, November 11, 2010. (REUTERS/Jim Young)
President Barack Obama celebrated America’s diminished role in the world under his watch.
My Way reported:
The president flew to Japan for the APEC summit without the coveted trade pact with Korea or a united front with other countries against China’s currency policy. He also endured a gusher of criticism from other countries about a decision by the U.S. central bank to pump $600 billion into the U.S. economy, something China, Germany and others believe could weaken the dollar and lead to inflation.
After the talks here beginning Saturday, Obama will return to the U.S. to confront Republicans empowered by their gains in this month’s midterm elections.
The president contended that his standing with world leaders is not diminished.
“When I came into office people might have been interested in more photo-ops,” the president said, because of the “hoopla surrounding my election.”
But he contended he has now developed genuine friendships with leaders including Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and South Korean President Lee Myung Bak – and even Chinese President Hu Jintao.
“That doesn’t mean there aren’t going to be differences,” the president added.
Those have been on stark display throughout the G-20 summit, which resulted in a final document in which leaders agreed on various measures to achieve economic stability, none of them enforceable or specific.
Obama contended this constituted victory nonetheless, even as he acknowledged that America’s place in the world has changed – and even if he wouldn’t say his had.
Whereas the U.S. had been the dominant superpower, “We are now seeing a situation where a whole host of other countries are doing well and coming into their own and naturally they’re going to be more assertive … and that’s a healthy thing,” the president said.
Obama told a news conference here that progress was made in stabilizing and strengthening the global economy, saying it is now back on “the path of recovery.” But he also said that nations “risk slipping back” into peril if they don’t work harder to foster sustained growth, end unfair trade practices and currency manipulation. Obama argued that “countries with large surpluses must shift away from unhealthy dependency on exports” and said that exchange rates “must reflect economic realities.”
After a day of meetings Obama said that it isn’t just Americans who are giving him an earful about the slow growth of the US economy, that his fellow world leaders have as well.