International observers

The U.S. presidential campaign is being followed closely around the globe, often with a sense of excitement about the democratic process -- and admiration, in many places, that a woman and an African American could be vying for the nomination of a major political party. And there appears to be something close to consensus that whoever wins the election, the next occupant of the White House will probably be more amenable to working with international leaders than President Bush has been. Times foreign correspondents assessed the mood in four regions where the U.S. campaign is viewed through decidedly local lenses.

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The election is fodder for cartoonists around the world, with Switzerland's Patrick Chappatte wondering whether Americans are ready to vote for a woman or an African American, and Britain's Peter Brookes giving his take on the roles of race and age.

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