A clear case of ignorance.
In a Bloomberg poll of global investors, the overseas investors rated Obama as superior to former president Bush in fighting terrorism. Only 16 percent rated Bush as stronger. Back at home, 54 percent of American investors rated Bush as the stronger one.
At first blush one might think it was the killing of bin Laden that gave foreign investors the notion that Obama is the stronger horse in the battle against Islamic terrorism. After all, the killing of Osama happened on Obama’s watch and it is obvious he gave the order to kill, and not to capture. That was leadership. But the opinions rendered in the voting come from sources much deeper than that.
Ignorance, the press and prejudice played a part. In fact, I would guess they played the major role. Undoubtedly, overseas investors are an intelligent lot. But ignorance isn’t stupidity; it’s just lack of knowledge. On the subject of American politics and presidents knowledge comes from the press. The ideology of the European main stream press lies somewhere between that of MSNBC and The Nation magazine. Michael Moore is a hero in that world because he is regarded as one American who speaks the truth. Obama is admired because he’s the first president to take America down a peg or two.
The idea that the assassination of Osama was only made possible by Bush policies that Obama opposed is an argument that doesn’t even exist in the foreign press. Tidbits like his de facto denial that the Fort Hood massacre was a terrorist act go unreported in the foreign media. Neither are their readers told that interrogations regarding terrorism are no longer conducted by the CIA. Due to Obama’s policies such interrogations became the function of a domestic crime agency, the FBI.
It’s quite understandable why only 16 percent of overseas investors favor Bush’s response to terrorism. The real question is why 46 percent of American investors put more trust in Obama for his performance on security.