The U.S. media has been all convention, all the time for the past two weeks, but the Republican and Democratic national conventions made a few waves in the overseas media as well. Here’s what journalists for foreign papers picked out from the speeches and hoopla of the past four days:
Alexander Pumpyansky argues that Obama actually has three opponents: “Mitt Romney, Obama himself and the economic crisis.”
Pumpyansky says the weakest is “the first of them,”and that the economic climate and Obama’s own image are the biggest obstacles to his reelection. He argues the president is struggling to recast himself as the same inspirational figure he was in 2008.
“Four years ago, Obama was a symbol of hope for America, an apostle of novelty, a human mission, if not the Messiah. Today it is just a politician, albeit with a very decent track record.”
Le Monde ticks off the “5 sentences to remember ” from the convention, by Luke Vinogradoff.
There’s no mention of convention star Bill Clinton or of Michelle Obama’s touching speech, but Vinogradoff does include these three interesting tidbits:
“This has been the most diverse, most inclusive convention ever held.” — Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa.
It’s the first time the Democratic party has included marriage equality on the platform. “This is a strong message, especially since North Carolina banned gay marriage a few months ago by referendum,” he writes.
“Despite incredible odds and united Republican opposition, our president took action, and now we've seen 4.5 million new jobs." — San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro. A claim fact-checkers were quick to refute, Le Monde points out.
“And yes, my plan will continue to reduce the carbon pollution that is heating our planet, because climate change is not a hoax.” — President Obama. Vinogradoff points out that although the president tried to differentiate himself from Mitt Romney on this point, he didn’t mention cap and trade, something the Democrats emphasized four years ago.
The Guardian’s Gary Younge calls the speech “plodding” and says all of Obama’s best lines had already been taken by his wife and Bill Clinton.
That’s because 2008 was for excitement, and 2012 was for explanations, Younge argues.
“As Obama pointed out he is now the president, not a candidate, and the country's in a different place. Those looking for Obama's speech to match the impact of his convention address in Denver in 2008 were always in for a disappointment.”
Writing in Spiegel, Marc Pitzke says that Democrats positioned themselves as the new foreign-policy tough guys by capitalizing on the death of Osama bin Laden.
“For years, the Republicans had claimed foreign and security policies as their own and were able to deride the Democrats as military wimps. But now the tables have turned. During the Republican convention in Tampa, Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan, his running mate, made the fatal mistake of saying almost nothing about the military and defense policies.”
The Times of India had little mention of the event, other than to point out that Indian-American actor Kal Penn would lead an online celebrity panel. He’s come a long way from White Castle.
This post has been updated.
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