US Elections Viewed from France

The 2012 United States Presidential Election is being closely followed in France, where I am currently doing archival research. Daily radio and television news broadcasts are filled with the latest U.S. political news, tracking opinion polls and each major twist of the campaign. French magazines and websites have been filled with news and analysis of the party conventions, stump speeches, and debates.

Here is a sample of French coverage of the U.S. Presidential Election….

A number of articles cover the U.S. Presidential Debates, often noting peculiarities in the  political discourse used by Mitt Romney and Barack Obama. Le Monde covers the third Presidential Debate on foreign policy issues, providing an outsider perspective on the issues covered in it. Other pieces focus on omissions in the debates, as when Libération noted the absence of discussion of the Guantanamo base in the third debate.

Much of the French reporting on the elections delves into the obscure processes of running elections in the United States. Le Monde explains the role of a debate moderator to a French audience. Le Nouvel Observateur analyzes the battle over the swing states and the role of the electors (grands électeurs).

Libération has a story on “le relooking permanent” of Mitt Romney.

A new issue of Le Monde Diplomatique investigates “Où va l’Amérique?” and has a special issue on the election.

A new book by Justin Vaïsse, Barack Obama et sa politique étrangère (2008-2012), published in France examines President Obama’s foreign policy and pragmatism. See a review of the book in Libération.

TF1 held a debate between Democrats and Republicans in France. Harry’s Bar held a straw poll among Americans to gauge the election results.

This entry was posted in French History, Globalization, Political Culture, Strategy and International Politics. Bookmark the permalink.

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