Apr 19 03:27 PM US/Eastern
By STEVEN R. HURST
Associated Press Writer
WASHINGTON (AP) - President Barack Obama has gone abroad and gored an ox—the deeply held belief that the United States does not make mistakes in dealings with either friends or foes.
And in the process, he's taking a huge gamble both at home and abroad, for a payoff that could be a long time coming, if ever.
By way of explanation, senior adviser David Axelrod describes the president's tactics this way:
"You plant, you cultivate, you harvest. Over time, the seeds that were planted here are going to be very, very valuable."
While historic analogies are never perfect, Obama's stark efforts to change the U.S. image abroad are reminiscent of the stunning realignments sought by former Soviet leader Michael Gorbachev. During his short—by Soviet standards—tenure, he scrambled incessantly to shed the ideological entanglements that were leading the communist empire toward ruin.
But Obama is outpacing even Gorbachev. After just three months in power, the new American leader has, among many other things:
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