No "Obama 2008" buttons, banners or T-shirts are visible at U.N. headquarters, but it might be difficult to find a sliver of territory in the United States more enthusiastic over the prospect of the Illinois senator winning the White House.
An informal survey of more than two dozen U.N. staff members and foreign delegates showed that the overwhelming majority would prefer that Sen. Barack Obama win the presidency, saying they think that the Democrat would usher in a new agenda of multilateralism after an era marked by Republican disdain for the world body.
Obama supporters hail from Russia, Canada, France, Britain, Germany, the Netherlands, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Indonesia and elsewhere. One American employee seemed puzzled that he was being asked whether Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., was even a consideration. "Obama was and is unstoppable," the official said. "Please, God, let him win," he added.
William Luers, executive director of the United Nations Association, said, "It would be hard to find anybody, I think, at the U.N. who would not believe that Obama would be a considerable improvement over any other alternative. It's been a bad eight years, and there is a lot of bad feeling."
Conservatives who are skeptical of the United Nations said they are not surprised by the political tilt.
"The fact is that most conservatives, most Republicans don't worship at the altar in New York, and I think that aggravates them more than anything else," said John Bolton, a former U.S. ambassador to the U.N. "What they want is the bending of the knee, and they'll get it from an Obama administration."
The candidates have said little about their plans for the U.N., but Obama has highlighted his desire to pursue diplomacy more assertively than the Bush administration. McCain has called for the establishment of a league of democracies, which many at the U.N. fear is code for sidelining the U.N.