Who's the best world leader?
Well, if UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon is counted, then he's the world leader with the highest confidence rating — 35% — according to a new study in conjunction with the University of Maryland. As Newsweek reports,
On average, only 23 percent of foreign respondents express "a lot of " or "some" confidence in Bush, and only Iran's Mahmoud Ahmadinejad does worse (at 22). ... Then comes [Russian President[ Putin at 32 percent, [UK Prime Minister] Brown at 30, [Chinese President] Hu Jintao at 28 and France's Nicolas Sarkozy at 26. The results aren't much different if you tally them country by country: in only two states (Nigeria and India) do a majority of people express at least some confidence in Bush. Putin and Hu each come out ahead in just five nations, and Brown in just six.
Meanwhile, respondents from most countries in a separate Pew study seem to adore US presidential candidate Barack Obama. Let's hope that, come November, most of America will think the same of him.