In a blog post illustrating how middle America is sometimes disconnected with the rest of the country and the world, Dave Winer writes:
â€œBut I've decided I don't care if they hate me or not. After all, they say that we as Americans shouldn't care whether people outside the United States hate us. So why should I care if they hate me?â€
The question is: should the candidates care about the rest of the worldâ€™s perception of America ?
After the first presidential debate on national security and foreign relations, bloggers from around the world have spoken. Here is more of what transpired from the Francophone blogosphere:
FranÃ§ois Clemenceau from France highlights the fact that the two candidates have very contrasted views on how to mend the relationship with the rest of the world (fr):
Â« McCain a Ã©voquÃ© pour la premiÃ¨re fois devant un si vaste public son concept de Ligue des DÃ©mocraties sans prÃ©ciser quâ€™il aimerait la voir remplacer les Nations Unies alors que câ€™est bien ce qui se cache derriÃ¨re les inventeurs nÃ©oconservateurs de cette formule. Obama nâ€™a pas Ã©voquÃ© les Nations Unies qui sentent un peu le souffre chez lâ€™oncle Sam mais il parlÃ© du monde global et des alliÃ©s en insistant sur la perte considÃ©rable de prestige et de crÃ©dibilitÃ© des Etats-Unis ces huit derniÃ¨res annÃ©es dans le monde. Â»
McCain evokes for the first time in front of a large audience his concept of a League of Democracy, without precising whether he'd like for that league to replace the United Nations which is the hidden agenda of neocons who created that concept. Obama did not mention the UN which is a sensitive subject in the US, but he spoke of US allies in the global world and the US critical loss of prestige and credibility in the past eight years.
Nathalie Mattheiem also sensed a major contrast of viewpoints on the US role in the world during the debate (fr):
â€œLes deux hommes reprÃ©sentent une approche diffÃ©rente du rÃ´le des Ã‰tats-Unis dans le monde, mais ce nâ€™est pas la prÃ©occupation premiÃ¨re des AmÃ©ricains en ces temps de crise Ã©conomique Â»
The two candidates have a very different approach of the US role on the global scene. However, it does not matter much to Americans in this time of economic crisis.
She adds :
Â« John McCain, Ã force dâ€™insister sur son expÃ©rience et sa familiaritÃ© avec le terrain international, a soulignÃ© involontairement le fait quâ€™il nâ€™apparaÃ®t pas radicalement plus qualifiÃ© que son rival dÃ©mocrate. Le lÃ©ger mÃ©pris dont il ne se dÃ©partit pas envers son rival sâ€™en trouve dâ€™autant moins justifiÃ©â€¦ surtout compte tenu de ses propres moments dâ€™hÃ©sitation - en particulier sur le Pakistan. Â»
By insisting on his experience and familiarity with international politics, John McCain highlighted involuntarily that he is not really more qualified than his Democract opponent. The slight spite he showed towards his rival is even less justified when we saw his own hesitations about Pakistan.
Jerome Bernard, former French AFP journalist, was amused that nothing during the debate probably made more of an impact than Obama countering McCainâ€™s bracelet story with his own story (fr). It might have been decisive in not losing too much ground in the patriotic votes.