WASHINGTON — The election of Democrat Barack Obama to the presidency would be a "great thing" for the image of the United States, a State Department official said on Tuesday.
James Glassman, Under Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs, was careful to emphasize he did not support the presidential nominee of either party, adding that he also thought "it would be a great thing for the United States to have a woman as vice president," in reference to Republican running mate Sarah Palin.
Speaking at a news conference focused on the US-led "war on terror," Glassman, who is tasked with improving America's image around the world, also spoke about the US military-run detention camp at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba — a lightning rod for criticism abroad.
"I don't think it's going to affect the image of the United States" if the prison is closed, he said.
Both candidates, Obama and his rival Republican John McCain, have pledged to close the camp at the US naval base that continues to hold 272 "war on terror" prisoners without charges.
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