Early Planetary Reaction to U.S. Presidential Debate on Foreign Policy (France, Britain, Israel, Canada)
The planet’s intellectual temperature on the third and last U.S. presidential debate will take a few days to fully seep out, but we have dug up enough to to get a sense of what is to come.
First, it seems that some of our European allies felt left out of last night’s conversation. For France’s Liberation , in a column headlined Europe Warrants Just One ‘Derogatory Reference’ in Third U.S. Presidential Debate, columnist Lorraine Millot writes that while many will lament the fact that of all the nations of Europe, only Greece was mentioned, although European diplomats say that being largely left out was all for the best.
“And where was Europe in all this? Not far from Australia in the competition for the position of most forgotten continent of the night. It wasn’t until almost the last minute of the debate that Romney would make a very brief derogatory reference, as is his habit, citing Greece as an example of a country burdened by debt. … At least the crisis of the euro is no longer being wielded by Obama as a major source of U.S. economic turmoil, and Romney has stopped making ‘European socialism’ his principle campaign scarecrow.”
True to form, the press in Britain has reacted more quickly and more fully than in any other nation.
For Britain’s Guardian, in an article headlined Obama Fires, Romney Falters, but Third Debate Fails to find a Flourish, U.S. correspondent Gary Younge calls President Obama the winner, but tells readers that it was not a spectacle that should bring any comfort to European fans of the president:
“A global poll for the BBC revealed that 20 out of 21 countries preferred the president to his challenger. But when you watched the presidential debate on foreign policy, you had to wonder why. Not because Mitt Romney was better, but because on matters of policy, Obama was almost as bad. It takes a friend to reveal the harsh truth to the global community, so here it is: ‘Obama’s just not that into you.'”
Britain’s Economist, in a column headlined simply A Win for Obama, the magazine opines that after three combative debates, the candidates are roughly right back where they started:
“Mr. Obama’s camp will be hoping that their man’s victory in the final debate will have gone some way to rebuilding his lead among women voters, and shoring up his wafer-thin advantage in such key swing states as Ohio. The president did not hurt his cause overall, though there were moments when his aggression may have struck some viewers as too sharp and too nakedly political. … After the race-altering shock of a disastrous first debate for the president, back on October 3rd, this third debate left the contest where it has been for some days: absolutely deadlocked.”
Now turning to the Israelis, the detail-oriented people of the Debka File, in an article headlined Obama and Romney Both Avoid Equating Strike on Israel to Attack on U.S., note that when asked, the candidates almost in unison failed to show sufficiently full-throated support for the Jewish State in the event it feels the need to unilaterally strike Iran’s nuclear facilities:
“Neither replied directly to the question put by moderator Bob Scheiffer: which would offer a formal declaration as president to treat an attack on Israel as though it was an attack on America, especially in relation to a nuclear Iran? The reservations on the parts of both candidates reflect the erosion of Israel’s strategic position in the four years of the Obama presidency compared with Iran’s rising clout in the region.”
Once again, in an article headlined Obama vs. Romney: Third Debate in Gifs, Britain’s Guardian put together its post-debate collection of gifs – tiny video clips that sum up the exchange between the candidates for America’s highest elected office. It’s pretty amusing.
For Canada’s National Post, in a piece headlined Zingers on Israel and Battleships Give Obama Decisive Win, columnist Jonathan Kay writes that by the end of the debate, in reference to a number of President Obama’s quips, Mitt Romney ‘seemed like a guy who’d never really recovered from the battleship and Yad Vashem lines.’
“As I saw it, the exact moment when Barack Obama won this debate was clear. It was when Romney made a big fuss about his trips to Israel, after harping on the GOP theme that the president has thrown the Jewish state under the bus. Without missing a beat, Obama stung back with ‘When I went to Israel, I didn’t attend fundraisers. I went to Yad Vashem.'”
Undoubtedly, all 17 some-odd nations mentioned in last night’s debate will react over the next day or two, and we will be posting what we find.
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