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The International Press on John Kerry

Comment and analysis from Chennai, Mexico City, London, Beijing, Budapest, Milan, Oslo, and Rio de Janeiro, February 12, 2004

John Kerry
Democratic presidential candidate Sen. John Kerry speaks at a fundraiser in California, March 31, 2004 (Photo: Robert Galbraith/AFP-Getty Images).
The Hindu (centrist), Feb. 2: U.S. Sen. John F. Kerry has emerged as the favorite to win the nomination of the Democratic Party for the 2004 presidential election....Mr. Bush may have to recalibrate his approach as the Democrats lean toward a nominee who does not shun the use of military force yet promises to conduct the nation’s affairs in a mature and even-handed manner.

Mexico City La Jornada (left-wing), Feb. 12: Currently, the fundamental criterion for voting is “electability,” meaning which candidate has the best chance of beating Bush. The number of Democrats who believe John Kerry is the best choice for achieving this goal increases day by day. Also, every day electoral decisions are more concentrated on a single objective: to get Bush out of the White House.
—Soledad Loaeza

London The Daily Telegraph (conservative), Feb. 10: Sen. Kerry has done a good job of enlarging himself, but the reality is simple: George W. Bush’s America has won two swift wars and overthrown two enemy regimes; John Kerry was heroic in a war that America lost and whose loss he celebrated. Since then he’s been a model lack-of-conviction politician. The question for anyone who thinks Kerry has “credibility” on national security is a simple one: Who do you think Iran, North Korea, Syria, Al-Qaeda’s Saudi paymasters, and the rogue elements in Pakistan’s ISI would prefer to see elected this November?
—Mark Steyn

Beijing Huanqiu Shibao/Global Times (semiweekly affiliated with People’s Daily), Feb. 9: Though John Kerry’s image has been marred by [rumors about] his private life, Americans think that the candidate’s administrative ability and his party’s policies are the most important. Kerry is very promising as time goes on, no matter how the Republicans attack him.

Budapest Magyar Hirlap (independent), Feb. 7: The Bush campaign strategists who counted on the Dem-ocratic presidential candidates being involved in attacks on each other, while the president comfortably watches and his popularity grows, have a problem. Instead, his challenger seems to be appearing, and thus the president has come under fire as well.
—Zsolt Ivan Nagy

Milan Corriere della Sera (centrist), Feb. 5: If Europeans could vote in the U.S. presidential elections in November, Democratic Sen. John Kerry would have his victory assured....Public opinion likes Kerry. United Europe’s commentators and political leaders like Kerry. An influential businessman said: “We hope that Bush will be beaten,” and his hope is widely shared by a lot of traditionally conservative industrialists irritated by the White House’s unilateralism.
—Gianni Riotta

Oslo Aftenposten (conservative), Feb. 10: With liberal views on the death penalty, abortion, weapons laws, homosexuality, a strong defense, etc., the Democrats’ chances of winning a single state in the South and mountain states to the west are slim. In 2000, Al Gore...did not win a single one of these states except New Mexico. So the situation doesn’t seem bright for the Democrats. Yet too much has happened in American politics even in the early part of this year to be certain of the outcome in nine months’ time. But I have been wrong before. Let’s hope it happens again.
—Geir Lundestad

Rio de Janeiro O Globo (centrist), Feb. 9: [Kerry’s] thoughts are slow and his speeches are notoriously unexciting. His biggest claim to fame might be that he has the same initials and is from the same political base (Boston) as John Fitzgerald Kennedy and, with a ketchup heiress’ money, can pay the national debt with his own income....Aside from the fact that a romp against Bush by anybody would make the whole world a safer place...Kerry doesn’t impress us all that much.
—Luis Fernando Verissimo

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