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For Germany, a Romney Win 'Would Have its Advantages' (Handelsblatt, Germany)


"In Germany four years ago, Barack Obama would have been able to count on 80 to 90 percent of the vote. To Germans, after the leaden Bush years, the new president seemed hip, smart, empathetic, and liberal - and altogether more European than his Texan predecessor. Today, German enthusiasm for Obama has significantly cooled."


By Wolfram Weimer*



Translated By Stephanie Martin


October 6, 2012


Handelsblatt - Germany - Original Article (German)

A sign for Romney Road in Dalton-in-Furness, northwest England, where ancestors of Mitt Romney were born and bred during the 18th and 19th centuries.


BBC NEWS VIDEO: Mitt Romney: 'U.S. foreign policy must change course', Oct. 9, 00:02:12RealVideo

In the U.S. presidential campaign, Mitt Romney is catching up. Suddenly, it seems possible that the wooden, elitist, conservative Mormon will replace media star Obama. From a German point of view, this would have its advantages.


In Germany four years ago, Barack Obama would have been able to count on 80 to 90 percent of the vote. To Germans, after the leaden Bush years, the new president seemed hip, smart, empathetic, and liberal - and altogether more European than his Texan predecessor. Today, German enthusiasm for Obama has significantly cooled. Many of his promises - from the closure of Guantanamo to climate change targets to economic recovery - have not been kept. And in many ways, his style of governance appears to be oriented toward sound bites and show. But above all, Obama has not developed a good relationship with Europe, and is particularly distant toward Germany.


From a German perspective, therefore, a victory for Mitt Romney would have its advantages. Whereas Obama is urging Germany to introduce euro bonds, and thus open market financing of Europe's debt mountain, Romney is pursuing a course more in line with that of Angela Merkel. To tackle the U.S. debt crisis, Obama has followed an aggressive course of deficit spending, and recommends that Europe do the same - up to setting a central bank policy that includes an escalation of monetary creation.

Posted by Worldmeets.US


In the U.S., the national debt has now surpassed the $16 trillion mark. When Obama took office in 2009, the total debt stood at $10.6 trillion. Thus, in only four years, his administration has created more debt than the total debt owed by Italy, Spain, Portugal, Greece, and Ireland over the course of an entire generation. Obama's plans therefore no longer correspond with Merkel's notions of sound fiscal policy.




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Romney, on the other hand, relies on solid budgets rather than new debt, wants to push back on the sprawling state and its expensive bureaucracy, and would support Germany in opposing ever growing, debt-financed spending programs by inefficient governments. Romney, like Merkel, recognizes that the spiral of government debt, flood of money from central banks, and credit-financed economic growth programs lead directly to "debt socialism."


But beyond the country's politics of debt, there is increasingly a problem with Obama. Over the last four years, German foreign policy makers have gotten the impression that Obama is not a true Atlanticist.


There is staggeringly little in his biography and few of his cultural interests that connect him with the old world, he rarely seeks the advice of his allies, avoids visits and is more likely to allow NATO to languish than redefine it.


It's very different with Romney: his family comes from Northwest England, in his youth he lived in France for two years, he even speaks passable French and he sees himself as being firmly anchored in the transatlantic tradition.


Romney is committed to reinvigorating U.S. leadership and asserting a policy of strength derived from a united West - he criticizes Obama for his indecisiveness and neglect of its alliances. At this point, that may be wishful thinking on the challenger's part, but it's enough so that even in Europe, the approval ratings for the awkward Republican are improving.


Even former union leader and winner of the Nobel Peace Prize, Lech Walesa, is openly hoping for a Romney election victory: "I hope he is successful, because the U.S. depends on this success, and of course, so does Europe."


*Wolfram Weimer is an author, former managing director of NBC Universal and a Handelsblatt columnist.



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[Posted by Worldmeets.US Oct. 9,2:39am]







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