Here's a bit of Hendrik Hertzberg's commentary on Barack Obama's "world tour" in this week's New Yorker:
Obama gained nothing in the polls during his nearly flawless, arguably triumphant grand tour. Still, after seven years during which, even among our closest allies, contempt for Bush bled into resentment of the country that returned him to office, one would have to be an awful grouch not to be gratified by the sight of a sea of delighted Europeans waving American flags instead of burning them and cheering an American politician instead of demonstrating against one.
Back home, one such grouch had ample reason to be grouchy. McCain’s luck last week was as bad as Obama’s was good. McCain rode in a golf cart with Bush senior; Obama rode in a helicopter with General David Petraeus. Obama was hailed by the German multitudes; McCain, his planned photo op at an offshore rig preëmpted by an oil spill and rained out by Hurricane Dolly, held a press gaggle in front of Schmidt’s Fudge Haus, in Columbus, Ohio. Obama got a big kiss (“Obama? C’est mon copain!”) from the new President of France, a dashing conservative with an exotic background and an unusual name; McCain stood athwart the cheese aisle of a supermarket, complaining.