When the Pew Global Attitudes project polled French citizens on their opinion of the U.S. in 2008, it heard a familiar story: nearly 60% had an unfavorable impression of America, while only about 40% had a favorable one — levels that had remained steady since 2003.
A year later, in 2009, those levels had flipped and then some: with President Barack Obama in office, suddenly 75% of the French had a favorable opinion vs. 25% unfavorable, a net change of 65 percentage points.
From the day he took office, at least one legacy of Obama’s presidency appeared set in stone: foreign countries like him much, much more than George W. Bush. But in the past three years, more countries have gotten colder than warmer. With European leaders fuming over U.S. surveillance of their communications, it is not out of the question that some nations with return to Bush-era contempt for the U.S.
In the following infographic, you can compare any two years of the Pew Research Center’s survey since 2002 to see which countries have gotten less (red) or more (green) friendly. A comparison of 2002 to 2008, for example, tells you everything you need to know about Bush’s effect in this department. (Click the green links to automatically update the sliders below.) A comparison of 2008 to 2010 offers a view of the initial Obama bump, while 2010 to 2013 shows the decline in Europe. (Slide over the individual countries to see the hard data.) One can even see that Pakistan preferred the U.S. of 2005 to the U.S. of the present. Like at home, Obama appears to suffer from the animosity born of high expectations.