US

Intern's Insight

Image is everythingor at least, thats what some would have you believe. Its a sentiment that works especially well in politics! Take a moment and ask yourself: which presidents stand out as most memorable? Probably those with a less than perfect public image, as those are the figures about which multi-million dollar movies are made and best-selling books are written!

Of particular interest to me this week was President Obamas trip to China. China, as you very well may know, is known for having particularly stringent censorship of information through various media outlets (internet, television, radio, etc). Obama, a president who captured the hearts of many Americans through his gregarious persona and accessibility, will always be known as an individual who won the 2008 presidential election partially because of his effective use of media. What was particularly intriguing during his trip abroad to China was how his demeanor, and thus persona, seemed to have changed over the course of his public appearances during the week. A more demure and subdued Obama emerged, seemingly at the request of Chinese leaders who wanted to avoid an instance of Obamania, and it should come at no surprise that everything being said by Obama on live television was moderated closely. In addition, no concessions to Obamas popular town hall style of press conferences and appearances were made.

To this end, I have a question for you, readers: Should an American president traveling abroad change his personal communication style to accommodate foreign preferences? Or should he continue to act in a manner to which he is accustomed to in the U.S.? The subject of whether an elected president should make concessions to local styles and governments is an interesting subject let me know your thoughts after the jump!

-N