World Reacts to Obama's Democratic Race Win
MADELEINE BRAND, host:
And what about internationally? For a look now at how the media around the world are covering Barack Obama's presumptive nomination, we called reporters in Germany, Russia and Lebanon.
CHADWICK: And we began with Daryl Lindsey, he's the editor of Der Spiegel online. He spoke with us from Berlin.
Mr. DARYL LINDSEY (Editor, Der Spiegel Online): There was a sense of elation in Germany. Karsten Voigt, who works in the German Foreign Ministry and is the head of German-American relations, has called Germany Obamaland. He's also compared Obama directly to Kennedy and also to Martin Luther King. And I think that that thinking sums up what many people feel. It's sort of the sentiment across Germany.
He represents a shift to a new generation. One problem Obama's going to have here, though, he really has no relationship with Europe yet. You know, he hasn't traveled here yet as a candidate. Less than half of the populations of all Western European countries and only 30 percent of Germans have a positive view of the United States. So that's what Obama is going to be starting with if he's elected president.
CHADWICK: Daryl Lindsey in Berlin. Germany had the most positive response.
BRAND: NPR's Gregory Feifer in Moscow says it's hard to tell what Russians think of the news.
GREGORY FEIFER: The official reaction has been quite muted. Russians were largely on the fence in terms of whether they prefer Obama or Hillary Clinton. This is quite a misogynistic society. It's also a very racist society. So I am sure there'll be people, plenty of people, arguing against both candidates. They know little about the issues confronting the States, and I have to respond to the images of the two candidates and I think that Obama just has the larger personality. He's a more natural-seeming speaker. I think Russians like that, they like what they saw. Russians generally tend to prefer Republicans than Democrats. Democrats are seen as standing up more for human rights, and Russia is very sensitive about getting criticism for its human rights record.
So I think Russians will see Obama's victory and his campaign with some trepidation. I think that even though Moscow is - has been one of the biggest critics in the world of the foreign policy of the Bush administration, Russians generally would prefer to see a Republican in the White House.
BRAND: NPR's Gregory Feifer in Moscow.
CHADWICK: And now to the Middle East. Rami Khouri, he's editor at large of Lebanon's Daily Star Newspaper, and the feeling there?
Mr. RAMI KHOURI (Editor, Daily Star Newspaper, Lebanon): Skeptical and slightly indifferent among the man in the street. And this is based on decades and decades of experience of seeing different American presidents come and go, and American policy staying more or less the same. Vis-a-vis things like the Arab-Israeli conflict or other major issues in the region. I think there's asense that anything is going to be better than Bush, so people do say that there are some nuances that differentiate Obama, say from McCain or from Clinton or others, that - for instance, his attitude to Iran is significantly different in that he would start a diplomatic process with Iran. But on the whole, not major expectations.
CHADWICK: Rami Khouri, editor at large of Lebanon's Daily Star Newspaper.
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