The Barbaric Americans
To the French, the winner of the American presidential election in 2000 was Bill Clinton. Political commentators expressed no particular liking for George W. Bush. The little that was known about him was not encouraging. Had he ever visited Europe? Only once--a short trip to Rome to attend a friend´s wedding. The French consensus is that American democracy was discredited by the failure to complete the recount of Florida´s votes. It is thus left to the American news media, according to an editorial in the weekly L´Express, to save the "honor of American democracy" by finishing the job. But Bush´s problem, for Europeans, stems from a flawed personality as much as from the election. In the French press, he has been called a "dumb leader," the "Forrest Gump of American politics," and the great master of a new adventure in "political cretinism."
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