"The image challenge is much more about substance than symbols; but changing some of what the world perceived as the more egregious policies of George Bush will be necessary but far from sufficient," says Bruce Jentleson, a professor of public policy at Duke University in Durham, N.C., and a member of the State Department policy planning staff during the Clinton presidency. "The next president has to realize the world has changed, and there's no going back to square one."
The sharp decline in America's image abroad is acknowledged by the Bush administration, which has launched various public-diplomacy campaigns to try to reverse it. At one point, Mr. Bush named one of his closest advisers, Karen Hughes, to take on the task of polishing America's brand around the world. Despite those efforts, a majority in many countries that once had a positive opinion of the US now view it negatively.