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Transition 2008: Advising America's Next President: The Future of American Leadership (Audio)

Panelists: Michael Moran, Executive Editor, CFR.org
Lane Greene, International Correspondent, The Economist
Richard Sylla, Professor of Economics, NYU Stern School of Business
Moderator: Alexandra Starr, Writer, Slate
November 19, 2008

The first step toward a new chapter of U.S. leadership is restoring its reputation abroad, and according to the assembled panel of experts, President-elect Barack Obama’s victory is a promising start. CFR.org Executive Editor Michael Moran said the election of an African-American had effectively countered propaganda about U.S. racism. Still, anti-American sentiments abroad won’t change overnight. Economist international correspondent Lane Greene asserted that the election results had been met internationally by “enthusiasm with skepticism,” and NYU economics professor Richard Sylla added that the United States would have to prove itself capable of effective leadership after blunders like the Iraq war and the export of “toxic securities.”

The new president’s actions will be limited by the economic downturn, panelists said, but by picking his battles, biding his time, and taking advantage of a wave of public enthusiasm, Obama could still make headway on issues like restricting carbon emissions and bolstering diplomatic relationships.


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