Advisor: Obama's Europe trip 'productive'

April 7, 2009 8:47:36 PM PDT
The president's top political advisor is calling the eight-day trip enormously productive, even though the president didn't get much of what he asked for.

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On the surface, there seems to be a disconnect between the white house calling the trip enormously productive and the fact that for the past eight days we've heard a lot about what the president didn't get.

At the economic summit he didn't get the stimulus packages he'd hoped for from the Europeans. At the NATO meeting, he didn't get more troops for Afghanistan.

But when he reached out to Muslims in turkey, sending a message to the Muslim world, that is playing very well in the Muslim world says Stanford professor Abbas Milani -- a close watcher of the media in iran.

"The tone of the whole coverage I think except if you go on radical sites is very respectful very optimistic," said Professor Milani.

Professor Milani says even more radical sites, like the one controlled by Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad are toning down the critical rhetoric.

"My sense is that they want to take a wait and see approach," said Professor Milani.

In turkey, the president tried to breach the walls of mistrust, saying America is much more diverse that many outside the country believe.

"We are still a place where anybody has a chance to make it if they try. If that wasn't true, then somebody named Barack Hussein Obama would not be elected president of the United States of America," said President Obama in a recent visit to Turkey.

Back home, the president's advisors say he's planted the seeds of success. David Axelrod chided reporters to give it some time.

"That that that will take at least a few weeks," said Axelrod.

How the president's trip is being viewed here at home is also pretty positive says abc 7's political analyst in Washington D.C.

"So far I think on balance it is playing well it has very good visuals," said ABC7 political analyst Professor Bruce Cain, Ph.D.

Professor Cain says most Americans won't get into the weeds over what the president got or didn't get from his negotiations-- instead they see the president looking presidential.

"His approval ratings are 66 percent and above the perception of how he's handling foreign policy is very strong and its deflected attention away from what could've been some bad economic stories," said Professor Cain.

The trip pushed executive bonuses to background; much of the outrage felt two weeks ago has dissipated.

"So 'a,' it presented him in a stronger light and "b," it diverted the conversation away from the economy at a time when people were starting to have doubts about key elements of the Obama plan," said Professor Cain.

The president returns to the White House while Congress is on spring break.

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