What foreign media are saying about the U.S. election
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Voters in the United State handed President Obama a second term in office on Tuesday. As the rest of the world reacted and reflected on the presidential campaign, here’s a sample of the reactions and analysis from newspapers and other media around the globe:
Obama won with pragmatism and realism, Clarin (Argentina, link in Spanish): In effect, after the promised hope and change of 2008, this year Obama recognized that he hadn’t achieved all that he had set out to do. And he honestly asked for four more years to be able to do it. Few leaders, in the campaign to get reelected, have the courage to recognize their limitations.
Obama will disappoint his friends around the world, Gulf News (United Arab Emirates): Drone attacks continue to outrage public opinion in both Afghanistan and Pakistan. And Guantanamo Bay prison which operates outside U.S. law remains open, despite Obama’s specific promise to close this moral outrage during his first year in office. The new Democrat administration would generate a huge amount of goodwill if it chose to do something about any (or all) of these problems.
Mitt Romney lost because hard-line Republicans betrayed him, Guardian (Britain): By all historical precedent, given the figures, Romney should have sewn it up months ago. But his Reagan-esque ideas were out of date. The voters replied: ‘It’s the economy, but we’re not stupid.’
A new term, an old playbook, Jerusalem Post: Elections usually turn a new page, and the president certainly has an opportunity to try to make a fresh start. But so far, Obama and other figures on the national and international stage have done little to suggest they’ll be using a different playbook.
No change in policy, Dawn (Pakistan): In so far as our region is concerned, who the next incumbent is is really not very material. If there was one thing that emerged clearly from the otherwise inane presidential debate on foreign policy and the vice presidential debate it was that there is little daylight between the positions of Obama and Mitt Romney on Afghanistan and by extension on Pakistan.
Not for the old, El Pais (Spain, link in Spanish): Obama’s victory is a rejection of the more conservative America, captive to an idyllic past that doesn’t exist, faithful that the market will magically resolve things. ... Romney has failed in his attempt to make the election a referendum on the economy.
‘With Obama, no surprises for Colombia,’ El Tiempo (Colombia, link in Spanish): It was evident from the campaign and the televised debates between the Democrat president, Barack Obama, and his defeated Republican rival, Mitt Romney ... few references to a region that has been seen as a ‘backyard’ to American power and has few assets to offer, save its experience in the fight against drug trafficking.
Obama Victory to Further Euro-Crisis Clash with Berlin, Spiegel Online (Germany): Obama will continue his cerebral approach to Europe, drained of the sentimentality that has often been a hallmark of the relationship. But his engagement with the Continent will increase. By necessity, Germany will be his partner of first instance. It is unclear whether it would be his partner of choice.
Victorious Barack Hussein Obama, Leadership (Nigeria): This son of the world ends the 2012 presidential race much in the same way he began: on the back of the ultimate victory. And as his lead increases, as the final results are being read, I would like to congratulate Americans all over the world in advance for making a wise and right decision, not only for America but for the whole world.
Defeat for a man of contradictions, Sydney Morning Herald: Had Romney won the election, Americans seriously would be waking up tomorrow not having a clue about what to expect from their new leader. Which of his contradictory tax reform positions might he hold to? Was he with immigrants, against them or really for them -- all positions he had taken in the campaign?
As U.S. elections wind down, so might China-bashing, New China News Agency (China): With bilateral trade standing at nearly half-a-trillion U.S. dollars, tit-for-tat tariffs and, eventually, an all-out economic war will be a disaster for China and the U.S. Conversely, embracing each other’s progress while helping each other ride out hardships will not only make both do better jobs, but also serve to put the global economy onto a faster track for recovery.
President Barack Hussein Obama -- again. But the grace is gone, Al Jazeera: The assumption that Obama is relatively better than Romney is of course very hard to sell to Iranians, Afghans, Palestinians, or Pakistanis, who are in one way or another suffering the consequences of his deadly decisions. ... While he won the second term, Obama has lost the grace that once his name and visage invoked among millions of human beings wishing for a better world.
Obama won on the economy, Mail and Guardian (South Africa): The U.S. is still digging out from the deepest recession in 80 years, and employers are barely adding enough jobs to keep pace with population growth. Trillions of dollars of household wealth have vanished in the housing bubble, while the gap between rich and poor widens. But historically, voters have given a second term to incumbent presidents who preside over even modest economic growth during an election year.
Why Romney lost U.S. presidential race, Straits Times (Singapore): In the end, the 65-year-old former Massachusetts governor lost because he lacked that one critical ingredient -- the political instincts to make the advantages and opportunities count. Mr. Obama, in contrast, made full use of the power of incumbency and his battle-hardened reelection team to carve out a victory that defied economic gravity.
-- Emily Alpert in Los Angeles
of Ahmedabad, India, features a photograph of President Obama after his reelection. Credit: Sam Panthaky / Agence France-Presse / Getty Images