Among Europeans, Mr Obama may not have lived up to the hope of his speech in Berlin in 2008, or of the Nobel peace prize prematurely bestowed on him a year later. But he helped restore America’s standing after the Bush years. If asked, Europeans would have overwhelmingly chosen “no change”. Mr Obama’s policies are reassuringly familiar. By contrast Mitt Romney’s views on cutting taxes and government, not to mention the social and religious views of some Republicans, seem alien on a continent where a generous welfare state is a badge of enlightenment. And his aggressive rhetoric on Russia, China and Iran discomfited Europeans, with their love of pacific, multilateral talking.