Viewpoints: The U.S. Presidential Election

Argentina – Buenos Aires Herald, Oct. 23: Two weeks before the election, the sharpest divide in the American electorate is not between Red (Republican) and Blue (Democratic) states; it is gender. The gender gap in political preferences in the U.S. in 2012 is the second widest since 1980. If Obama wins the election, he will have to thank women for his victory. If women turn out at lower rates than men, Romney could win the election.

China – Xinhua, Oct. 24: During the latest U.S. presidential election debate, both candidates voiced willingness to collaborate with China but at the same time blamed the country for America's domestic woes. The candidates … should realize that simply blaming China will not do—only by working on the origins of America's downward economic situation can they really solve domestic problems such as unemployment. … Blaming China for the high unemployment and dim exports of the United States is an easy way for the Obama administration to divert responsibility and Romney to woo voters.

Egypt – Ahram Online, Oct. 24: Many in the Middle East believe Barack Obama failed to deliver on promises of a new U.S. approach in the region but still prefer him to presidential rival Mitt Romney, who they see as too close to Israel and too keen to project U.S. military might. … Romney angered Palestinians earlier this year by suggesting they lacked the culture that has driven Israel's economic success, while ignoring problems generated by Israeli occupation of territories where the Palestinians seek statehood.

France – France 24, Oct. 24: French Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault has broken with diplomatic protocol by openly expressing his hope that Barack Obama wins the upcoming U.S. presidential election. "If I was an American citizen I wouldn't hesitate to vote for Obama," he told a radio interviewer on Wednesday. … Ayrault is not however the first French minister to offer public support for Obama in his neck-and-neck battle with Republican Mitt Romney. On Tuesday, Bernard Cazeneuve, the European affairs minister, said, "As far as I'm concerned, I totally support [Obama's re-election] and I would be astonished if the government had any other wish."

Germany – Deutsche Welle, Oct. 24: On the same Tuesday evening in October that Governor Romney and President Obama held their second presidential debate in New York, Americans and Germans filed into former West Berlin's old city hall—Rathaus Schöneberg—to hear Democrats and Republicans thrash out the presidential election's hot-button issues. … In "The Great Debate" … a panel of two Republicans and two Democrats debate everything from the state of the economy, to campaign finance and Obama's healthcare reform law. The applause and groans clearly indicate that the audience is more sympathetic to the arguments of the Democratic debaters—Kathleen Burnett and John McQueen, the current chair of Democrats Abroad Munich and former chair of Democrats Abroad Germany, respectively.

India – The Hindu, Oct. 25: The [presidential foreign policy] debate had not a word on the numbers of casualties and deaths [in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars]. Not a word on the financial costs of the wars and their link to the economy. Not a whisper on the lessons to be drawn for U.S. foreign policy. That, in a debate on foreign policy. The human costs to others have been awful, too. No one knows for sure how many civilians have died as a result of the two wars. The estimates range from one hundred thousand to several times that number. … By late 2006, the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees had come up with other kinds of numbers. Close to 1.8 million Iraqis had fled their country since the war began. Another 1.6 million made up the internally displaced.

Iran – Fars News Agency, Oct. 24: During the third presidential debate, U.S. President Barack Obama and Republican challenger Mitt Romney vied on Monday over who was Israel's strongest defender … although they both agreed that a military strike over Iran's nuclear program must be a "last resort." In reply, [Iranian Defense Minister Brigadier General Ahmad] Vahidi told reporters after a cabinet meeting here in Tehran today that Obama and Romney are seeking to win the support of the Zionist lobbies and trying to appease the Zionists. "Americans themselves know that they cannot conduct [military] operations against Iran and such remarks rather serve election campaigning," Vahidi noted.

Pakistan – Pak Tribune, Oct. 25: At least five people were killed in a U.S. drone strike on Wednesday in the Mir Ali area of the North Waziristan agency, an area bordering Pakistan and Afghanistan, sources said. According to the sources, the unmanned plane fired two missiles on a house in the Tapi area near Mir Ali, the main town of lawless and troubled region, killing three people and injuring several others. … Attacks by unmanned American aircraft are deeply unpopular in Pakistan, [whose government] says they violate its sovereignty and fan anti-U.S. sentiment, but U.S. officials are said to believe the attacks are too important to give up. In the final U.S. presidential election debate in Florida, U.S. President Barak Obama and his Republican rival Mitt Romney have emphasized to continue drone strikes inside Pakistan.