This may not pass the diary threshold for some, and what follows will not translate into an action plan. But I thought it might be of interest, what with Obama lagging in the polls and all.
Browsing through some German language newspaper websites, I wanted to know how the Palin interview went over with European audiences.
She does not do well.
Some conservative newspapers like Germany's Die Welt are fawning over Palin's performance. Betraying more than just a little aversion to the black candidate, Die Welt claims that Palin "showed" Obama and makes fun of his "hapless" attempts at dealing with her.
Frankfurter Allgemeine, one of the three major German language quality dailies alongside Munich's Sueddeutsche Zeitung and Neue Zürcher Zeitung out of Zurich, Switzerland, is more evenhanded, but fails to mention the "Bush doctrine" gaffe.
Neue Zürcher Zeitung, a conservative daily with strong ties to the financial services industry, has international coverage on par with the New York Times and outguns the German dailies in this department. They are the only paper to discuss the "Bush doctrine" gaffe.
What struck me the most, however, was the readers' response to an article covering the Palin interview in Switzerland's "Blick" newspaper, a populist, center-right tabloid which about one fifth of that country's poplation reads on a daily basis.
Every single one of the posts is strongly negative, with most using the word "dangerous" in relation to Palin. Here's a selection:
– "Truly dangerous! A woman who thinks a war is God's plan and will does not belong in high office."
– "McCain/Palin would be a disaster for the USA and the rest of the world. Truly dangerous."
– "I don't like this woman at all. The thought that a retarded [sic], ultra-conservative woman could run the most powerful nation on earth scares me."
– "A female George Bush, maybe even more extreme."
– "It is downright frightening to imagine that a person like this, inexperienced, fundamentalist and aggressive, could have access to the nuclear arsenal of the most powerful nation on earth."
– "This women is a joke. Somebody who claims that the Iraq war is a mission from god is not electable. Image her as president. Time for us to write our last will."
– "A McCain/Palin win would be the beginning of the end."
Mind you, this is a mainstream audience in a thoroughly conservative country where center-right and conservative parties hold a two-thirds majority in government (having lived there, I would know). Also, other than Germany and France, the Swiss are not spontaneously anti-American. And yet they seem to loathe the prospect of a Palin presidency as much as the Kossacks do.
So take heart. The world is with Obama.