What a difference an election makes. The National Brand Index, a ranking of countries on the basis of their perceived position in culture, governance, people, exports, tourism, landscape and education, has just released its results for 2009. The United States has reemerged as the most admired nation on earth, leaping seven slots from its 2008 position.
“What’s really remarkable is that in all my years studying national reputation, I have never seen any country experience such a dramatic change in its standing as we see for the United States for 2009,” said Simon Anholt, the founder of NBI, which measured the global image of 50 countries each year.
He believes that during the previous administration of George W. Bush the United States suffered in the world ranking with its unpopular foreign policies but since Obama was elected, and despite the recent economic turmoil, the country’s status has risen globally. “There is no other explanation,” Anholt said.
When the editors at the Weekly Standard are finished celebrating Chicago’s failure to secure the 2016 Olympiade, it will be interesting to see how they characterize this. The rightwing Bizzaro World has tended to portray being despised by foreigners as a demonstration of national strength and character, and being admired as a demonstration of weakness.