The World Reacts to the U.S. Presidential Race

NPR.org, March 3, 2008 · The 2008 presidential primary season has seen unprecedented fundraising and record turnout in many states — and it's also attracting much attention abroad. Below, a sampling of opinion on the elections and what they mean for other countries:

 
 

SYDNEY

America's Choice,
Our Future

By Peter Hartcher

The Sydney Morning Herald

Feb. 8, 2008

United States presidential campaigns are free entertainment that America gives the world. ... But it is more than just a reality TV show. It matters. ... We know that the choice of president will influence the likelihood of the US making war. ... When America goes to war, so, historically, do we. ... Australian decisions on American wars, whether we play to type and go along or whether we decide to stand aloof, have real consequences for ourselves, for the US and for the state of the world. We really need to pay attention.

ISTANBUL

The American Bird and
the Caravan

By Mithat Melen

Turkish Daily News

Feb. 22, 2008

But I can say clearly that Americans [who] want to restore their country's image around the world will not be able to achieve it with ... [these] three candidates. ... All around the world, and especially in the U.S., there is a need for more inter-parliamentary contacts, rather than inter-governmental relations. It becomes more important that civil society members and parliamentarians, meaning the real representatives of the peoples, come together and discuss.

TAIPEI

In Polls Here and Abroad, Plagiarism Abounds

The China Post

Feb. 23, 2008

Is plagiarism such a big deal for candidates in elections? This is an interesting question arising from the presidential campaigns in the United States, and Taiwan in particular. Many new ideas and new catchphrases are created to win voters' support. In this year's U.S. presidential campaign, for example, 'change' is the name of the game. In Taiwan, 'referendum for U.N. entry' is the dominating theme. ... You may say Obama has stolen Bill Clinton's idea to create a theme of his own. Obama is smart enough to catch on to the nation's mood, which is a thirst for change.

JERUSALEM

Walk in the Footsteps
of JFK

By Gil Troy

Center Field blog at
The Jerusalem Post

Feb. 27, 2008

McCain has other flaws but he recognizes that terrorism cannot be stopped without confronting its underlying ideology. This divide is less about personalities and more about the Republican-Democrat split following Bush's polarizing approach to fighting terrorism. Rather than building on the national consensus forged in the fires of September 11, Bush allowed the war on terror to become a partisan flashpoint. In fairness, Democrats are also guilty, frequently allowing their hatred of Bush to blind them to the Islamist threat.

MOSCOW

U.S. Election With a Dash of Bolshevism

By Alexei Bayer

The Moscow Times

Feb. 11, 2008

It is sometimes striking how the United States is beginning to resemble the late, unlamented Soviet Union in so many ways. John McCain ... has been brutally savaged on the airwaves and in the media. ... His meanest critics have come from the evangelical Christian right and the populist and social-conservative wing of his own Republican Party. ... This is almost a parody of the early period of Soviet history. Lenin wrote plenty of articles attacking the Russian monarchy and the capitalist system, but his bitterest vitriol was always reserved for fellow socialists ... What is most surprising is that religiously tinged ideological zeal has emerged in the United States, a country founded on the principles of the Enlightenment and rationalism ...

GIZA

Can You See the Mideast from the Midwest?

By Alon Pinkas

Daily News Egypt

Feb. 28, 2008

The key issue, though, remains the next president's policy on the Israeli-Palestinian track. Until now all candidates have stated the obvious. ... [T]he political timetable in Israel and the continued disintegration of the Palestinian Authority do not escape the candidates' radars. They realize that before late 2009 or even early 2010 they will not be able to foster a real process. Once this is clear it becomes a non-issue, so why should they say anything during the campaign?

LONDON

One Person Can Lift America's Gloom

By Camilla Cavendish

The Times

Feb. 7, 2008

As I watched the news bulletins, 5,000 miles away, I could not keep down a feeling of euphoria. America is back. Whichever way this contest now goes, the US will once again become a force for progress in a world that for too long has been able to [demonize] America ... All three of the serious contenders break the bone-headed stereotype. Only Barack Obama and John McCain, extraordinarily good at bridging the partisan divide, could have left Hillary Clinton, potentially America's first woman president, looking like the dull incumbent.

GABORONE

Change at White House, No Change for Africa

By Rampholo Molefhe

Mmegi

Feb. 22, 2008

The fact of Obama being Afro-American, or Clinton a woman, is not likely to alter ... state to state relations between the United States and Botswana in particular, and Africa in general. ... Whoever goes to the White House, all expressions of US foreign policy in trade, security cooperation or aid for [AIDS] will follow neither colour, gender nor party, but 'the best interest of America.'

AMMAN

The 'Candidate of Change' and Voting Patterns
in the U.S.

By Michael Jansen

The Jordan Times

Feb. 21, 2008

This region is in urgent need of sweeping changes in US policies, particularly towards Palestine-Israel, Iraq and Iran. ... [Malcolm] Hoenlein, a heavyweight in the pro-Israel lobby, has expressed concern about 'all the talk about change' ... because 'change' could harm Israel if the next US president compels it to negotiate seriously with the Palestinians and initiates dialogue with Iran, regarded by the Zionists as the main threat to Israel.

LONDON

The WYSIWYG Thrill of the American Race

By Vicki Woods

The Daily Telegraph

Feb. 9, 2008

What [Nigel, my laundryman] likes is the WYSIWYG factor — What You See Is What You Get. Or, in this case, what America gets. By the time the winner of the presidential elections walks into the White House next January, the American people will have watched him (or her) fight for their votes, day in and day out, from coast to coast and north to south. ...Whoever is or is not going to be 'president of the EU,' you and I won't get a vote. ... There won't be any democracy in action, only diplomacy and done deals. That's why I like American elections.
 
 
 

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