Obama faces a difficult international environment, but previous presidents have managed to employ hard, soft and smart power in equally difficult contexts. In 1970, during the Vietnam War, America was viewed as unattractive in many parts of the world, but with changed policies and the passage of time, the United States managed to recover its soft power. It can happen again.
Nye, Jr., Joseph S. "The U.S. Can Reclaim 'Smart Power'." Los Angeles Times, January 21, 2009.