I’ve been rather surprised at how interested everyone here (Irish, Brit, French, South African, etc.) is in our elections. I know that as a world power, events in the US affect the rest of the world. But whenever someone hears our American accents, including in the ladies’ room at a restaurant, they want to know what we think and why. And almost to a one, they wanted Obama to be elected.
They had entire-day coverage of the elections on Tuesday (on all the main channels, to the consternation of those who wanted their regular programming), when the results would even start coming in until well after midnight here! I didn’t bother turning it on. I get tired of pundits talking about exit polls and what might happen, when if you wait a day, you find out what really did happen. And Europe is giving great cheers for Obama’s election.
I’m also suprised to find that the US is considered an “ultra-conservative” country. I’m not sure if this is true from the Irish viewpoint, but it certainly is for the rest of Europe.
I picked up a copy of the Irish Independent, which had a 16-page section devoted to our elections (out of maybe 50 pages total), and came across a really interesting article titled “Goalposts have moved when it comes to American Politics.” It’s originally from the London Times and talkes about the changes in Americans themselves, historically and demographically, and how that has changed the impact of the political parties. Taught me a few new things–you can read it here.