Jim Hoagland writes of the 'club', that elite group of world leaders who will now welcome Obama with open arms, and who see that Obama could well be 'first among equals':
This former University of Chicago professor of constitutional law will be eagerly -- and anxiously -- welcomed by peers who include a fellow academic (Britain's Gordon Brown), a practicing lawyer (France's Nicolas Sarkozy), a physicist (Germany's Angela Merkel), a flamboyant, rich entrepreneur (Italy's Silvio Berlusconi) and a cold-blooded KGB operative who sits atop a system that increasingly condones the physical elimination of its critics (Russia's Vladimir Putin).
The engineers who run China, the ayatollahs of Iran and the autocrats of the Middle East will also nervously eye Obama's appeal as a global figure with a gift for identifying emerging themes and articulating them in captivating fashion. There is no reason to think that the political earthquake Obama launched in the United States three years ago will stop at the water's edge or has already run its course.
After all the bad news on the economic front, it will be a welcome sight to see.