Just as it was in America, the coverage of last night’s American election was 24/7, which meant I was awake at 3am to watch the first results roll in. Coverage continues today, with constant replays of the victory and concession speeches as well as input from European leaders about what this means for Europe (positive reactions from several French Ministers and the German chancellor Angela Merkel).
It is characteristic of the French that their politicians try to keep their private and public life separate (First Lady’s Valerie Trierweiler famous Tweet about her husband’s ex-wife being an exception) and this aspect of their culture is obvious today: journalists are highly amused by Obama expression of love for his wife during the acceptance speech. Those lines are being constantly replayed (almost ad nauseam) today on several French TV channels: “And I wouldn’t be the man I am today without the woman who agreed to marry me 20 years ago. Let me say this publicly: Michelle, I have never loved you more. I have never been prouder to watch the rest of America fall in love with you, too, as our nation’s first lady.”
France is known to be rather Obamaphile, possibly the most in Europe; the latest polls showed that 78% of the French would vote for Obama if they could, 5% for Romney, and 17% have no opinion. It’s always impressive to witness firsthand the interest for my country’s politics abroad, whether by the 500 French people who gathered in the Café de Flore in Paris last night to support the Romney France Committee, or by the barrage of my French friends’ texts, Tweets and Facebook messages that greeted me this morning expressing joy at Obama’s reelection.
The following is a sampling of the headlines that the French woke up to this morning:
Barack Obama réélu malgré la Crise (Barack Obama re-elected despite the crisis)- Le Figaro)
L’extrémisme des partisans de Mitt Romney a précipité son échec (Extremism of Romney supporters brings about his failure) –Le Monde
« 4 More Years » -Libération
Elections américaines: les nouveaux visages de l’Amérique (American Elections: The new faces of America) -L’Express
Les quatre défis économiques qui attendent Obama pour son second mandat (The Four Economic challenges that await Obama in his second term) -20Minutes
Barack Obama, un deuxième mandat “pour finir le job” (Barack Obama, a second term « to finish the job ») –France24