For Germany, a
Romney Win 'Would Have its Advantages' (Handelsblatt,
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
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.
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'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
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
*Wolfram Weimer is an
author, former managing director of NBC Universal and a Handelsblatt
Worldmeets.US is a non-partisan, volunteer-based, not-for-profit organization that operates solely in the public interest. The opinions expressed in articles posted by Worldmeets.US are not necessarily those of Worldmeets.US, its sponsors, or its volunteers.