For most of the time I've lived abroad (since the sumer of 2002), I had to suffer the pain and embarrassment of George W. Bush as the U.S. Head of State. Fortunately, most of my Swedish friends and colleagues know my politics, and therefore did not give me too much grief about the long National Nightmare that was Dubya.
I could not contain my enthusiasm for Barack Obama's candidacy during the 2008 presidential campaign and stayed up all night watch the vote being counted. Folks at work would tell you that I walked on clouds for weeks after the election.
So I guess I shouldn't have been surprised when two guys from our legal department returned from a patent seminar at the University of Wisconsin in Madison very eager to tell me how their meeting had to be relocated for several hours because the president was speaking on campus. They had photos and video of the motorcade…you'd have thought they were a couple of kids seeing Santa Claus for the first time. They even brought me a present from the campaign rally, which is now being proudly displayed in my office.
I may not be quite as enthusiastic about Mr. Obama as I was at the beginning of his term (I'm still waiting for the "fierce advocate" of GLBT Americans to show up and for him and the Dems to STOP making policy concessions to Rethuglicans who then vote NO anyway), but he sure makes it a lot easier to be an American lliving outside the United States.