One good thing, I think, about electing a leader who is enormously popular internationally, is that George Bush no longer serves as legitimate shield to pursue harmful policies. In this regard, this piece in the Washington Post that collects sentiment from around the world is telling.
Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, a combative foe of Bush, congratulated Obama on his “historic election of a descendant of Africans” and called for “new relations” between the two nations.
When George Bush stewarded a universally reviled interventionist foreign policy, leaders like Hugo Chavez could with a certain modicum of legitimacy, justify their own policies by pointing to illegitimacy the US foreign policy. Now, with a leader whose foreign policy not only seeks to return to international cooperation, but more importantly, will be executed in good faith, leaders like Chavez — and to a certain degree, Putin — are rightfully exposed as the malign forces they are, bolstering the US’ negotiating position.