WASHINGTON — President Bush's motorcade will speed through European capitals this week, but for many Europeans, the Bush presidency already is in their rearview mirrors.
Trans-Atlantic relations are on the upswing as European leaders have moved beyond their anger over the invasion of Iraq. Still, anti-Bush sentiment runs high on the streets.
Like many Americans, Europeans have Bush fatigue. Many believe Barack Obama and John McCain will have different positions — perhaps more favorable — than Bush on issues important to Europe. The president continues promoting his agenda on climate change, Mideast peace and world trade issues, yet his influence has ebbed.
"There's no reason for any leader to give him anything because he's on the way out. You have a presidency that's losing energy, is consumed by Iraq and a president who is unpopular, in general, in Europe and people are looking beyond him," said James M. Goldgeier, an expert on Europe at the Council on Foreign Relations.