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What the French Like About B.O.

So, it looks like the U.S. will have the first half-Black candidate running for President on a major party ticket. Surprise, surprise.

No big deal to the French. Paris has a Gay mayor and France has a one-quarter Jewish president.

Twenty years ago I had a premonition that Al Gore would be our next great president (when he was just a slim Senator from Tennessee), and you see what happened? I was wrong. Then I thought Hilary Clinton was a ‘shoe-in’ (‘sure win’ from an old racetrack term) and you see where that leaves me. Nowhere and wrong again.

Recently, a British newspaper, The Telegraph, conducted a survey in Europe’s five most economically prosperous countries (Britain, Germany, France, Italy and Russia) and found 52% were rooting for B.O. (short for “Barack Obama” — it’s easier to say). They don’t like the Republican candidate much — only 15% had their heart set on the man who was a one-time “P.O.W.” (“prisoner of war”) in North Vietnam, John McCain.

Poor John, he has George W. and the “Eye-Rack” war to thank for his lack of popularity among the Europeans. Italy loves B.O. the best, with as high a pro-vote as 70%. I must say, this is shocking to me. As Frank James put it in a Baltimore Sun blog, “What’s up with the Italians? Isn’t this the same nation that just re-elected conservative Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, an Iraq War supporter. A real disconnect, it seems
to me.”

The Russians think McCain can pull the world economy out of their doldrums (36% to 28%), but Americans see it as his weakness. Funny, huh? and there was a much smaller divide among the Russians who supported B.O. compared to P.O.W., only 7%.

But who cares what we over here think about the U.S. presidential election?

We Americans living in Europe do. We are anxious to establish a better reputation with our comrades here who don’t know what to make of the mixed up U.S. politics. They liked John Kerry in 2004, too, but Americans didn’t care enough about the international point of view to elect him (or were there other reasons as we saw in the documentary film, “Uncounted?”).

We’re also anxious to strengthen the U.S. dollar against the euro. I never thought it would hit the $1.50 mark and you see, wrong again. Now, we’re happy it’s showing some signs of strengthening, “down” to $1.54 to the euro today.

Well, let’s hope I’m wrong again. Because I’m not so sure that the Good Ol’ U.S. of A. is really ready for one-half of anything, much less B.O. that isn’t a P.O.W.

A la prochaine…

Adrian Leeds
Editor, Parler Paris

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P.S. Next week, be sure to meet up with us at Parler Paris Après Midi on Tuesday from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. at La Pierre du Marais. It’s free and it’s fun. I’ll be heading to New York City the next day to start over looking for an apartment for my daughter there! So, don’t miss it. We’ll have lots to talk about. See /parlerparis/apresmidi.html for more details.

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