Global Politics

European reaction to US presidential race

(Can you tell me what are the other issues people are asking you about?) GS: My friends ask me who is Barack Obama? What do you think about him, what is his behavior? People are interested in him and he's inspiring people worldwide. We don't have a similar figure in our country. he is young and inexperienced but makes great speeches of hope and change. They doesn't seem they support him but they are interested. He is the show horse in this race. TZ: In Poland Obama is also received as an interesting figure. There is a lot of skepticism about whether America is ready for an African-American president. On the left there is interest in Obama, being less reliant on military power and also his power, mixed racial parents. They think he could be someone how bridges differences and is a leader of the world. CL: Yes, Obama makes a big difference. I don't think we would cover the primaries if not for Obama and Hillary Clinton. A lot of articles have written even about psycho-analysis. This is a discussion which relates to us, how to integrate minorities�what is it to be color blind in a society when there are so many young, Black men in prison? (Does the fact that Hillary Clinton as a woman enter into your coverage?) GS: In Germany it's not a big deal anymore because we two-plus years ago elected Angela Merkel and we've seen in Great Britain before. She is a strong leader, we don't see her crying every day. So people are not focused on this issue because we live with a woman as a leader. (Is there a candidate that, for example, Nicholas Sarkozy seems himself working better with, and same for Poland and Germany?) CL: I don't know about that, he knows Obama and McCain. The issues vary. Sarkozy is probably a bit more hawkish on Iran than the regular people of France. I don't know that that would apply to one person specifically. (When you read the American media, is there something that's being talked about here that you think would be a novelty for your readers?) GS: the one issue that's not possible for us to understand is, all the candidates say the system in Washington DC is not working and most people around the world admire the way of perfect government in DC, perfect in the meaning of the government is on track and you have a lot of think tanks who deliver plans and projects and ideas for the next government. CL: I think religion in France is a big source of wonder, especially with Romney and Huckabee, and Huckabee not believing in evolution. TZ: I have to explain why there is this slogan of change in politics, repeated by all of them, because they don't explain what this change is going to be. There's a feeling that domestic policies are not changing, the system is stable, predictable, has been for more than 200 years. Something only changes with big crises. It's not clear for us.

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