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As Obama arrives in Mexico, residents willing to give him a chance

But they're still cautious as they hold out hope that this American president might be different.

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For most Mexicans, their instinct is to dismiss with suspicion any leader of their powerful neighbor to the north who comes promising change and a new relationship. We've heard it before, they will tell you.

But most Mexico City residents seem prepared to give President Obama, whom they say they like as a person, a chance to show that his talk of more cooperation is more than just words.

"I like that he seems completely different from President Bush," says Maria José Araeza, a student at the private Banking and Business School on the monument-rich Reforma Avenue in the capital city. "Bush had half-crazy ideas, starting with the war, but Obama seems more rational."

"But," she adds with trademark Mexican caution, "we'll see in the long run."

Mr. Obama may have been received like a rock star in Europe, but in Mexico, it's the new president's down-to-earth, serious, even cerebral qualities that are most attractive. He arrived in Mexico City on Thursday.


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