November 20th, 2008
08:00 AM ET
14 years ago

Obama poised to rebrand America, experts say

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="People in Kisumu, Kenya, celebrate the election of Barack Obama."]
(CNN) - President-elect Barack Obama is poised to restore the United States' image in the international community, but experts say the president-elect must show the world that his actions will live up to his rhetoric.

Receiving a warm welcome is not the same as maintaining one, and Obama has a lot of work to do to improve the U.S. brand.

America's image has declined in nearly every region of the world in recent years, but Obama's victory "enables the United States to start again with a clean slate," according to John Quelch, the senior associate dean at Harvard Business School.

"Americans can actually go to dinner parties and cocktail receptions around the world today and not have to apologize for the United States the way they have had to do the last several years," he said. "The election has made life a little bit easier for Americans living and traveling abroad to hold their head up high again."

The United States' tarnished reputation has been fueled by a combination of factors, including opposition to U.S. policies like the invasion of Iraq and alleged torture and abuse of prisoners, the perception of hypocrisy, unilateralism, lack of contact with Americans and the perceived war on Islam, according to a congressional report released last summer.

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