PARIS - Europeans might have reason to feel disappointed with Barack Obama.
The American president arrives this week in Europe to pick up his Nobel Peace prize just as he has nearly doubled the U.S. troop presence in Afghanistan. This fall, Obama found plenty of time to tour Asia, while missing the 20th anniversary celebrations of the fall of the Berlin Wall.
And Obama originally planned to spend just hours at the Copenhagen conference on global warming, which for many Europeans is the world's No. 1 problem.
Nevertheless, Obama-mania lives on in the hearts of millions here.
A poll released Friday and conducted in the five major European powers - France, Germany, Italy, Great Britain, Spain - and the United States, showed that Obama has retained the support of the vast majority of the Europeans polled, even as his rating sagged at home.
The president's continued high standing in Europe may be due in part to the deep-rooted hostility Europeans have harbored for his predecessor, George W. Bush.
Europeans seem to sense that even if he only shows his face at Copenhagen and has failed to sway his own Democratic Congress to do more on global warming, Obama will likely be bringing far more to the climate table than they could ever have expected from Bush.
Obama on Friday altered his plans and will join the crucial last week of the meeting amid shifts in the Chinese and Indian positions, reviving some hope of a major breakthrough.
"It sounds like he's still the bees knees for everyone in Britain. He's fabulous," said Sarah Hodgkin, a civil servant from Essex, England.
In the small Spanish town of Arroyo de Luz, about 180 miles (300 kilometers) southwest of Madrid, Miguel Angel Bernejo Carrero made news when he renamed his bar in honor of Obama during the Democratic primary battle, even before it was clear that Obama would be his party's candidate.
His enthusiasm for Obama hasn't waned.
"People are crazy to judge him so soon. Circumstances are incredibly difficult and he's doing all he can. I mean, give him a break, man!" Bernejo Carrero said in defending Obama against accusations that he has promised much but delivered little.
Moving toward the heart of Europe, Obama has a somewhat tougher sell.
"Since September there have been questions on his real capacities," said Thomas Gomart, head of the Russia Center at the French Institute for International Relations in Paris.
But because of his charisma and the comparison with Bush, who was wildly unpopular in Europe, Gomart says that Obama's image in Europe "is still very positive."
"Everybody is waiting for results," Gomart said. "The months ahead are crucial."
Peter Filzmaier, an Austrian professor and respected political commentator, said that further fallout from the financial crisis, which many Europeans blame on the United States, may begin to erode Obama's popularity.
"Europeans are unsure if Obama is part of a solution - or part of the problem," Filzmaier said.