When President George Bush leaves office, will America once again be liked by most of the world? Not necessarily, since most current problems are either already getting better or not our fault.These problems include authoritarianism in Russia, which preceded the Bush administration, and Iran's nuclear challenge, which will be here for as long as it takes to disarm the mad mullahs in Tehran.
When the next president takes office in January 2009, he or she will be confronted by a world that either understandably appreciates America or for self-interested reasons will challenge it.
On the positive side, the new president will see a Middle East without the Taliban in charge in Afghanistan or Saddam Hussein ruling Iraq. A stabilizing constitutional Iraq should result in a steadily diminishing American presence there.
In Europe, the French under Nicolas Sarkozy and the Germans under Angela Merkel will remain pro-American. But they will also expect continued American leadership. Both may talk grandly of the Atlantic Alliance, but in real terms they do little to help us in Afghanistan or elsewhere.
Most of Africa likewise is already friendly to the United States. And why not? President Bush extended more humanitarian aid to combat African hunger and disease than any president in our history.
But what of our enemies? Won't adversaries back off when the Christian cowboy George Bush rides back to Texas -- and we have a kinder, gentler commander-in-chief who offers hope, or at least change, to the world?
There are plenty of problems that both antedated George Bush and are likely to continue well after he's left office.
For more on the world after Bush, see "A New Middle East, After All: What George W. Bush Hath Wrought."