It's a little early yet to give it a label. America didn't take ownership of the 20th century until the closing months of WW I (which, as we mentioned before was called "The Great War" before we know we were going to have to number them) in 1917, so the Chinese have a couple of U.S. Presidential elections to go before they need to lay claim to the title.
If that is the case then the U.S. will have to decide whether, in a Chinese-dominated world, we want to be the U.K. or France.
The United Kingdom has kept its seat at the table even though its claims to glory and empire are long past. They have stepped up to the plate militarily, diplomatically, and economically when the world has needed them.
France, on the other hand, has stood outside the coffee shop window, nose pressed against the glass, waving a sign saying "We're still Important" causing the country at the cool kids table inside to roll their eyes and look away.
Hirsh wrote in his National Journal piece that the Italian Prime Minister reminded reporters that the 2008 financial crisis began in America and
"European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso declared, 'Frankly we are not here to take lessons in democracy.'"
At his press conference Tuesday night, Obama was on such sandy footing that his answers to reporters' questions were rambling and almost non-responsive.
In fact, I Tweeted this:
Move away from the coffee shop window, Mr. President. You're embarrassing us.