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In the lead-up to the Presidential Election this November, media coverage around the world has been unprecedented.  Often - though not always - the trivial trumps the actual policy debate. In the context of this information overload, GMF will be tracking "What Europe Needs to Know".


President-Elect Obama's Delivers His Historic Victory Speech

For Europe and America, a Dual Citizen's Choice: Obama
Le Monde (France), November 1

A Historic November Begins for 'All of Us' '
Estrella (Spain), October 31

The Obama Revolution
John F. Harris & Jim Vandehei, Politico, November 5
Armed with more Dems, Pelosi poised to get tougher
Jared Allen, The Hill, November 5
Hackers and Spending Sprees
Newsweek, November 5
Secretaries of state give Dems a firewall
Avi Zenilman, Politico, November 3
How smart is the American voter?
Larry M. Bartels, LA Times, November 3
Blacks' dreams will come true. Then what?
Laura Washington, Chicago Sun Times, November 3

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Financial Crisis

As the national conventions wrapped up in early September, popular thought was that national security and continuing America’s prosperity would be the dominant campaign issues. Two topics which Americans tend to feel more comfortable with Republicans at the helm. Senator John McCain still holds a lead in polls on national security on the eve of the election. Furthermore, Americans felt that less government interference with the economy, the better businesses could operate in a fluid international market. Senator Obama’s message of ‘Change’ looked like it was becoming a harder sell to voters.

The election dramatically changed barely two weeks later following McCain’s acceptance speech in Minneapolis, Minnesota. As the bankruptcy filing of investment stalwart, Lehman Brothers, set off a steady chain reaction of market sell-offs that shocked the American economy and the American consumer. The events that surround that date, the spectacular claim that insurance giant AIG could no longer cover its risks, the near failure of mortgage lenders Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the bankruptcy and buyouts of major baking institutions and the subsequent enormous government bailouts ripped the mask off the credit based economy and exposed a hideously under-regulated and fragile economy that was on the verge of collapse. Republicans, long the party of deregulation and historically seen as more pro-business, were irrevocably tethered to this quickly sinking boulder. Obama and fellow Democrats were seen as the caped crusaders that could wrestle control of the American economy away from greedy Wall Street barons and return some stability and safety to the financial markets.

Polls from mid-September onward have demonstrated the shift in the focus of the electorate and with it, the faith they put in Democrats to fix the economy. Cultural issues and national security issues have fallen far behind in the political discourse and look to be the driving message to the White House.

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U.S. elections speakers tour visits DC, European cities
April 7, 2008 Washington, DC - Turin - Munich - Stockholm

Munich Election Tour "We don't contribute to the American presidency, but we are certainly part of it."  Piero Gastaldo's opening remarks at an event co-sponsored by GMF and the Compagnia di San Paolo in Turin, Italy, reflected the mood seen at each stop on the German Marshall Fund's second European speakers tour on the 2008 U.S. presidential elections.  The tour brought three political-insiders from Washington, DC, to Turin, Munich, and Stockholm for a series of events on the November elections. Read More...

The race to the White House: an analysis of Super Tuesday
February 6, 2008 Berlin
On February 6, GMF Berlin, in cooperation with the U.S. Embassy in Berlin, hosted a discussion entitled "The race to the White House: an analysis of Super Tuesday." About 120 people attended a panel discussion with William Chandler, a professor at University of California in San Diego; Mr. William Drozdiak from American Council on Germany; and Mr. Ralf Beste, Marshall Memorial Fellow and a journalist with Der Spiegel in Berlin. Constanze Stelzenmüller, executive director of GMF's Berlin Office, moderated the discussion held in the State Representation of Baden-Württemberg.  Read More...

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