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Author Topic: Romney vs Obama - what other countries think
vulture
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I'm not remotely suggesting that in the elections Americans should give any credence to which candidate is more popular in various foreign countries, but a BBC world service poll of people in 21 countries came out with 50% in favour of Obama and 9% in favour of Romney (with 41% indifferent or undecided presumably).

Interesting country results:

Kenya had the highest percentage supporting Romney! (and one of the highest supporting Obama too - they had probably the lowest undecideds).

Pakistan was the only country that polled Romney higher than Obama - but with Romney on 15%, Obama on 11% and 74% not favouring either candidate you have to suspect that the majority opinion is "we don't give a @$!# since America is the enemy either way".

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-20008687 (although it is rather sparse on details such as what the actual questions were, sample selection, language issues etc., so there are large grains of salt ready for those who wish to take them).

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AI Wessex
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I mentioned in another thread that here in London, UK all of the newspapers I've been reading have run multiple articles by different commentators saying that Obama is the better candidate, as well more popular personally. But to be fair, Romney's sycophant-like performance in the 3rd debate was better received than how he did in the others because he was echoing Obama for the most part.
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Adam Masterman
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Romney's popularity (or lack thereof) in Britain probably doesn't reflect anything beyond the fact that he crapped on their Olympic efforts. Internationally, Obama built a lot of goodwill early on with his "apology tour" (which was probably the best foreign policy decision he made), which he apparently hasn't totally eroded yet with drone strikes.
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AI Wessex
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Adam, I think they're a *little* more sophisticated than that [Smile] .
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hobsen
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In this case it is probably not so much that Romney himself is perceived as a threat, as that any change introduces uncertainty.
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vulture
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quote:
Originally posted by hobsen:
In this case it is probably not so much that Romney himself is perceived as a threat, as that any change introduces uncertainty.

I don't know about that. Romney makes the news (in the UK anyway) mostly for a) being a Mormon, which to anyone outside the US makes him a member of some weird cult (because the LDS church is very little known outside the US), b) pandering to the tea party during the primaries, which marks him out as a crazy, right wing extremist (at least by European standards) and c) association with assorted Republican muppets saying stupid things about rape and pregnancy, which conjures up the idea that he is anti women's rights.

None of which is terribly fair or accurate but the overall impression left to anyone not actively seeking out US election news is that he is a religious fanatic somewhat to the right of George Bush (who was himself seen as something of a dangerous right wing nutjob).

At least, that's the impression you'll get from the centre-left media in the UK (in which I include the BBC).

Bear in mind that Britain is somewhat more right-leaning than the rest of Europe, and the political center here is still probably somewhat to the left of Obama...

So it's not that change is viewed as a threat. It's that Romney is seen at being fairly far to the right of US politics, which is already to the right of the UK, which is itself to the right of the majority of Europe.

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vulture
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Incidentally, I did a search for Romney on the Torygraph^H Telegraph, which is probably the mainstream paper most likely to have something positive to say about Romney. Picking out articles that have 'Romney' in the title we have:

Romney 'disagrees' with senate candidate's rape comments

Mitt Romney's campaign sought to distance himself from Richard Mourdock's suggestion that pregnancies from rape are preordained.

US Election: Barack Obama and Mitt Romney in dueling rallies

President Barack Obama and his Republican challenger Mitt Romney continued their election fight earlier today with respective stump speeches in Dayton, Ohio and Las Vegas, Nevada.

Obama takes aim at opponent's 'Romnesia' in Florida

After his third and final debate with Republican challenger Mitt Romney, US President Barack Obama campaigns in Delray, Florida, maintaining his opponent is suffering from "Romnesia" in reference to what it says are his inconsistent policy views.

Mitt Romney calls for Mahmoud Ahmadinejad prosecution

Comments appear to put him directly at odds with his own advisers who oppose the International Criminal Court.

Romney mocked after Syria gaffe

Republican candidate Mitt Romney was mocked for suggesting Syria was Iran's 'path to the sea' during his final presidential debate with Barack Obama when the pair faced off over foreign policy.

Obama and Romney's closing statements

US President Barack Obama and Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney appeal directly to the American people at the conclusion of the final presidential debate before the US election on November 6.

President Obama slams a passive Mitt Romney as 'reckless' on foreign policy

President rips his rival for being “all over the map” while Romney barely fights back. The Daily Beast's Howard Kurtz on why the Republican played rope-a-dope.

Analysis: Romney's guns go silent

Romney failed to show leadership in the course of the third presidential debate, writes Peter Foster

Mitt Romney calls for Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to be indicted under UN genocide convention

Mitt Romney has called for Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to be indicted under the UN genocide convention over his comments questioning the Holocaust.

Romney's troops are stuck in the minefield of North Carolina, but Obama's bunkers remain unbreached

Why does Mitt Romney have anything to do with that buffoon Donald Trump?

Despite their rhetorical differences, Romney and Obama see the world in the same way

Now if that is the most positive coverage you were seeing of Romney, how highly would you rate him? (Of course, no-one outside the US gives a damn what his domestic economic policies, so nothing of that nature gets much coverage at all - it's all about foreign policy, which isn't a priority for American voters).

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AI Wessex
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Most of that is consistent with what I've seen. I don't think people here simply dismiss him, they have reasons for preferring Obama.
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Adam Masterman
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quote:
Originally posted by AI Wessex:
Adam, I think they're a *little* more sophisticated than that [Smile] .

Some are, sure, but the public at large? Americans can very rarely name the leaders of European countries, much less candidates for those positions, and very much less the positions of those candidates. If one of them came here and made headlines for a casual insult, that would define him for 99% of us for his entire life. Now, I know that Europeans have a rep for being more sophisticated than us, but can it really be all that big a difference? Or maybe they pay more attention to us than we do to them? That I could see.

If they see Mitt as to the right of Bush II, they are definitely mis-informed.

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DonaldD
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Well... Mitt from the primaries ended up being to the right of Bush in some identifiable ways...
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AI Wessex
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I've been working with a client company in London since the spring. I've gotten to know them and their attitudes on a number of issues (starting with football and cricket, where we agree to not understand each other). As for global politics there is no doubt that the US is the most dominant player in the world. They're more familiar with day to day European concerns, especially economic ones, but they look at the US (somewhat warily) as a lens into international matters spanning the rest of the world.

They also are amused by the religious questions we get stuck on and why one party seems to have an almost reactionary attitude towards women. Romney is a questionable and somewhat odd fellow to them on both of those issues, perhaps more because of Republican Party attitudes than his. For instance, they don't seem to know what the LDS is all about, but they aren't bothered by it. OTOH, they're thoroughly confused and put off by perceived hateful Republican positions regarding Muslims and foreigners of any race or nationality. Romney is their leader, so he is on the receiving end of their negative opinion. They especially find it laughable that *anybody* thinks Obama is a Muslim or was born in Kenya. Romney is the leader of the Party many of whose members hold those opinions.

His gaffes when he visited here and elsewhere on his Europoean tour were reminiscent of Bush II, for whom they had little respect when he was in office, and less than that now. They value decorum and wit, both of which Obama seems better endowed with in their eyes.

The single most common impression of Romney is that he is a rich guy who wants to run America.

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