By Joseph Loconte
A month after the German surrender ending the First World War, American President Woodrow Wilson arrived in Paris to throngs of admirers. After four years of the most destructive war in human history, Europeans looked to Wilson to broker the peace. All over Europe there were parks, squares, streets and railway stations bearing his name. H.G. Wells described the scene in Paris on December 13, 1918 when the president entered the city. “He was transfigured in the eyes of men,” he wrote. “He ceased to be a common statesman; he became a Messiah.”
Like Woodrow Wilson, the arrival of President Barack Obama on the world stage was greeted with a fervor that bordered on religious worship. Despising President George W. Bush’s “war on terror,” many looked to Mr. Obama to order the peace.