Monday, June 09, 2008

Nous Sommes Tous Democrats

A story in today's WSJ details the love that Europeans are feeling for Obama (sub req):

While the race between Barack Obama and Republican rival John McCain remains close among U.S. voters, Europeans have given their hearts to the likely Democratic nominee.

A poll in late May of five major countries -- Britain, France, Germany, Italy and Russia -- showed Sen. Obama getting 52% support, compared with 15% for Sen. McCain. In France, 65% favor Sen. Obama, compared with 8% for Sen. McCain, according to the poll for the United Kingdom's Daily Telegraph newspaper.

Another poll published online Saturday in Belgium's Le Soir newspaper showed Belgians prefer Sen. Obama over Sen. McCain 74% to 12%.

When I spent the last week in The Netherlands I had a chance to watch a good bit of Dutch, German, French and BBC news coverage of the US election campaign. And the fact that Obama has won the hearts of Europeans is hardly surprising given the amount of and positive nature of the coverage he received. It was pretty much all Obama all the time when it came time for reporting on the United States. Hillary made an occasional brief appearance, but I don't think I saw John McCain's face or heard his name all week.

Obviously it was a big week for Obama and he was the story. But the extent of the focus on him was overwhelming. Casual observers in Europe might be forgiven for believing that he had already won the White House given the presumptive manner in which he was feted in the news.

In the unlikely event that John McCain pulls an upset and defeats Obama in the general election, I can imagine a lot of Europeans waking up on November 5th and scratching their heads in amazement as they did in 2004 after Bush beat Kerry. Why did these crazy Americans not vote for the man that EVERYONE knew was going to be President?

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