There is a concise article in Spiegel Online with Susan Rice concerning Obama's upcoming visit to Europe. Most rational people realize that the past almost eight years have almost decimated our relations with European countries. While I can admit that perhaps his visit is indeed somewhat PR related since he is not yet President, at the very least he is trying. I respect that. And I respect Susan Rice in her effort as one of his advisers.
I think this is my favorite portion of the interview:
(image via Citizen Jane Politics, where you can read more about Dr. Susan Rice)
SPIEGEL: The reception for Obama in Europe will be very warm. But too much European enthusiasm could backfire in an US election campaign.
Rice: Americans understand that our security is enhanced when the United States is trusted and respected in the world. Unfortunately, our standing in the world has diminished in the last several years. This has hampered our ability to work cooperatively to confront global challenges. Americans are hungry for change both at home and in our relations with the rest of the world. Barack Obama represents a dramatic departure from the policies of the last eight years. There is no downside to Americans seeing the promise of change manifest both domestically and internationally.