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Obama could be 'one of the great presidents'
Photo: DPA

Obama could be 'one of the great presidents'

Published: 07 Nov 2012 10:46 GMT+01:00
Updated: 07 Nov 2012 10:46 GMT+01:00

The effects of Barack Obama's re-election will particularly felt in global powerhouse Germany. The Local's media round-up turns to the country's press to see how it took the news.

By Wednesday morning President Joachim Gauck and Angela Merkel had both offered their congratulations. Tens of thousands of Americans living in Germany were celebrating and the country's newspapers were examining one of the most nail-biting nights of 2012.

Der Spiegel magazine hailed Obama's second victory as the dawn of a new era and a chance for the President to use his second term to "tackle the politics of change in the right way."

The President's re-election represents the "defence of his controversial political agenda," giving him the opportunity to secure a legacy "as one of the great presidents." If the economy picks up in the coming years, wrote the magazine, "it will be ascribed to Obama's policies."

America voted for Obama because he was was the lesser of two evils, claimed the Süddeutsche Zeitung, taking a more cynical view on the 51-year-old's victory.

The chances of him changing a lot in his second term “were not large.” Remaining president was “not an illustrious victory,” it said, and the US did not re-elect him for being successful, but because “they were not ready to put Mitt Romney in his place.”

Not much had changed, agreed the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung. That the Democrats had retained control of the senate was "no surprise", and, since the Republicans held on to their majority in the House of Representatives, this would not make Obama's second term "any easier than his first."

"Now in the political centres of power in Washington everything will remain as it has been: in the White House, in the House of Representatives and in the Senate," said the paper.

Meanwhile, the daily tabloid Bild used the occasion to make demands on the new president on behalf of the world, calling for the US economy to be restored, an end to the Afghanistan conflict and to keep all options open regarding Iranian nuclear ambitions.

During the next four years, the paper said, "it will be up to the US president to stop the Mullahs" in their drive to build a nuclear bomb. This "maybe with sanctions" but may be "also with military action. For the security of Israel."

Die Welt newspaper on the other hand focused on Republican candidate Mitt Romney, after a brief nod to Obama's win. “The presidential candidate was not ready to admit defeat, because he thought he still had a majority in Ohio,” it said, continuing with a break-down of his concession speech.

Although divided on the significance of Obama's narrow victory, the German press did agree that the campaign had been what Der Spiegel called "harshest and dirtiest in the history of the United States."

For the first time in the US, said Die Welt, the campaigns were been tinged with negativity, as the Democrats “painted Romney to be a heartless multimillionaire, who wants to widen the divide between rich and poor with his tax plan.”

The Local/jcw/jlb

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

12:51 November 7, 2012 by derb76
"damned if you do, damned if you don't"
12:54 November 7, 2012 by Eric1
He hates everything American stands for. I guess this is why he is loved in other countries. We will see his radical Marxist ideals continue more rapidly.
12:59 November 7, 2012 by trevzns
President Barack Obama not a visionary...perhaps in the realm of hate-mongers and the disenchanted. However, President Obama was re-elected by a diversity of reasonable and rational people.

If not one of the great US presidents, he is headed in the right direction...forward.
15:56 November 7, 2012 by JWS
Moving forward? Towards what?
16:05 November 7, 2012 by catjones
JWS.....away from the angry mob that you and Eric represent.
16:08 November 7, 2012 by Bulldawg82
Well, America just spent 6 Billion dollars on this election and what did we get? The President is the same. Congress is the same and the Senate is still the same. We voted for a repeat of the last 4 years - gridlock and budget-less. The Status Quo we all bitched about - we just voted to keep. I hope all those that wasted their vote by voting for a Democrat or a Republican remember this. We keep doing the same things over and over and we keep expecting different results = INSANITY. 3rd party didn't even get 2% of the total vote. Verdict: The Americans themselves are the problem.
16:19 November 7, 2012 by IchBinKönig
The US is populated by groups of people who may as well be living in different countries. They have separate histories, cultures and visions for the future. They are two distinct nationalities, divided by mutual distrust and joined by mammoth public debt.
16:54 November 7, 2012 by bernie1927
Wonderful!! There is hope for America yet. If only Congress could get its act together!
17:45 November 7, 2012 by frankiep
I actually don't think Obama is all that bad. I think he is a decent president all things considered. However, his supporters have got to be some of the most obnoxious and insufferable people on earth.
18:53 November 7, 2012 by Bigfoot76
If you compare him to the last 3 administrations then yes it is fair to say he is better than the rest but that hardly means he is great. Nobel peace prize worthy? No. Mt. Rushmore likeness? No He simply did not suck as much as the past three presidents. That is hardly an accomplishment considering who they were.
19:38 November 7, 2012 by IchBinKönig
You cannot strengthen the weak by weakening the strong.

You cannot bring about prosperity by discouraging thrift.

You cannot lift the wage earner up by pulling the wage payer down.

You cannot further brotherhood of a man by inciting class hatred.

You cannot build character and courage by taking away people¦#39;s initiative and independence.

You cannot help people permanently by doing for them, what they could and should do for themselves.

-Abraham Lincoln

Didn't know Great Presidents sent the stock markets plunging when they get elected.
19:51 November 7, 2012 by auslanderus
As an American living here in Germany, The states re-elected the same person that gave them nothing. 4 more years of the same.....nothing except more poor getting poorer.
20:21 November 7, 2012 by realist1961
I'm glad Germany likes Obama. Once he tanks the U.S. more than he has already, the U.S. will get a front row seat ahead of Greece, Italy, and Spain for all the hard earned German worker's tax money. Furthermore, I can't wait for Obama to come to Germany with his hand out telling the German workers to pay more taxes so they can get their economy going so they can buy more worthless U.S. automobiles. How sweet it is. Maybe he will do the "Ich bin ein Berliner" thing and or perhaps "Ich bin eine Nürnberger". Yes, even better.
22:34 November 7, 2012 by jmclewis
Obama is the boss who is never in his office making sure the business is well managed. He has a wife that has no problem using his Company Credit Card to take a vacation and spend for any want she desires. Obama has shown zero leadership in Office he produced or signed a budget for over four years. He stood flat footed and watched as our consulate fell in Libya and our ambassador was murdered, even though help was only a few hours away. Next he proceeded to lie and say it was a demonstration against a film that started as an attack at 2200 hrs; even though he knew this false from the CIA Drones that watched the entire attack over 8 hours. He has spent so much money in stimulus money he makes Bush look like fiscal conservative. If one believes in Obama they also make sure to buy a home with a chimney for fear of getting no gifts on December 25th. I hope Obama is held accountable and impeached for his conduct during the consulate attack and the coverup of it. If he remains in for his full term America will need to get a loan from Greece.
23:00 November 7, 2012 by neunElf
"Not much had changed, agreed the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung. That the Democrats had retained control of the senate was "no surprise", and, since the Republicans held on to their majority in the House of Representatives, this would not make Obama's second term "any easier than his first."

He couldn't get anything accomplished when his party controlled both houses of congress!

Europe loves an ineffective American leader, except when there security is threatened!
00:26 November 8, 2012 by marimay
My countrymen are a bunch of party line obsessed nitwits.

I am glad Romney didn't win, but Obama is very very far from a great president. What the heck is this propaganda nonsense?

The media is brainwashing people. Californians decided they didn't want to know if they were eating GMOs or not. Brilliant.
02:18 November 8, 2012 by zeddriver
@Bulldawg82

One problem with your third party scenario. Both the democrats and republicans have moved to the left/liberal side. A third party that was further left would be the socialist/ communist party. Something that even the most liberal of citizens would not accept. But a third party to the right will not get votes from anyone on the left. And tends to divide those in the republican party. So it ends up meaning that a vote for the libertarians is by proxy. A vote for the democrats.
04:26 November 8, 2012 by hanskarl
@trevznx: President Barack Obama not a visionary...perhaps in the realm of hate-mongers and the disenchanted. However, President Obama was re-elected by a diversity of reasonable and rational people. " It was the hate mongers and disenchanted, those who are on the dole and feel the are owed that voted him into office with the help of the touchy feeling we are the people, peace be with you all crowd that voted him into office. And the percentage of those over 45 years of age who voted against Obama was huge. As you can see illicit indoctrination of half truths and whole lies works among those who are trained to not think critically like you.

Per the National Journal: "In 2008, minority voters turned out in record numbers, propelling Barack Obama to the White House. Similar results fueled his second-term victory on Tuesday. A 2-percentage-point increase in nonwhite votes—to 28 percent—sealed Obama's reelection, and data seem to indicate minority influence at the polls has grown stronger in the past four years.

Obama managed to win again, despite securing only 39 percent of white voters--who still represent the nation's largest voting bloc at 72 percent."
05:02 November 8, 2012 by nadom
Who ever thinks this marxist must be smoking the same pot and snorting the same cocane as this idiot. Any resemblence to being a great president is purly a fanisty. We now find out that someone hid the absentee for the armed forces in Afganistan until it was to late to get them back to their relative states to be counted. He is as much of a cheat as a liar. Normal Chicago politics. If you are execting anything great out of him you are going to be surprised. Worse president in my 77 years of life.
05:24 November 8, 2012 by hanskarl
@ neunElf: You are correct that Europe loves an ineffective America unless their security is threatened. Then Europe should begin to fear.

With two or three Supreme Court justices desiring to retire the balance of the court will shift dramatically to the left. If the Supreme Court of the US leans heavily left it will have greater ability to usurp and circumvent the Constitution and deconstruct the US from within.

You can successfully wager that the Maoist and Communist leadership within Europe will be smacking their collective lips in anticipation of the US downfall into a whimpering democracy so they can reap their financial reward. However, without the military might it will not be able help Europe in the future. This is just what Europe¦#39;s enemies desire.
15:19 November 8, 2012 by Eagle1
All of the polls show that Obama won because blacks, Hispanics, and single people under 30 voted for him overwhelmingly. The first two groups have unmarried child-birth rates of 75% and 53% respectively and, to a much great er extent than other racial groups, depend on government handouts. As to people under 30, most of them do not pay taxes and/or are idealistic, and/or are fiscally clueless.

I support Obama's positions on social issues like pro-choice and gay-marriage, but he is a moron when it comes to economics and business. America is in for another 4 years of increasing debt and economic stagnation.
08:08 November 9, 2012 by trevzns
@ neunElf #15, jmclewis #14, realist1961 #13, auslanderus #12, IchBinKönig #11 #7, Eric1 #2

Claim down children of the corn or better yet.... Children of eUtopia.

eUtopian - European and European American lands of Xenophobia and disenchantment.

Stop with the sky is falling, African Bogeyman fairy tail bedtime stories. Get over it, life is short. Go have a Mr. President Obama end of European civilization party...and put your hands in the air and party like you just don't care.

@nadom #19

Worse president in my 77 years of life.

Well, that means the rest of us will have to live the next 57 years to see if what you are saying is correct?

@ hanskarl #20

My dear hanskarl, ineffective American leaders and the American people have and will come to the rescue of the enlighten people of main Europe and the God Save the Queen British Empire from their financial issues, stupid wars and conflicts. As for the endangered Justices in the US Supreme Court, 47 plus 3 precent equals...Good Riddance.

@hanskarl #18

Politics is a game and theater of lies, promises and distractions. Partisanship is at the foundation of politics. As for non-critical thinking. Mitt Romney is a devote member of a cult and believes, the Garden of Eden was in the state of Missouri and Zion will be the USA? Whats your point?

Yes, there was an increase of non-european voters turning out in record numbers in support of Obama...President Obama please. In the US, voting is every American citizens right...if you believe what you read in the many times amended Holy Grail that is the US constitution. I understand just how difficult it is for many European Americans and the Eurocentrist that are disillusioned with the changing demographics in the US.

For those who fear change and desire returning to the Nationalist values and ideology of the minority immigrant European founders of the USA...stop complaining and stop making excuses and start making more babies.
18:01 November 9, 2012 by raandy
auslanderus, check the stats, the rich are getting richer and the poor are getting poorer, just like here in Germany.
23:12 November 9, 2012 by Englishted
You are right raandy ,it is a world wide problem caused by rampant capitalism and of cause greed by the top percent.
23:18 November 9, 2012 by Darthkuriboh
I love Obama!
00:04 November 10, 2012 by iSlam-mudslime
@Englishted and @ranndy

Amen!
00:25 November 10, 2012 by DrGideonPolya
Obama was very much the lesser of 2 evils - racist, religious right Republican (R4) and Zionist- and Apartheid Israel-supported Christian Zionist warmonger Romney would have been an utter disaster for America and the World .

However Obama is nevertheless a tool of the Neocon American and Zionist Imperialist-dominated US Establishment One Percenters and under Obama the world will likely see:

1. more US wars (Syria, Iran, Mali?) despite the coming defeated withdrawal from Afghanistan leaving 5.6 million Afghans dead from violence or from war-imposed deprivation;

2. continued US role as a world leader (together with, for example, Canada and Australia) in annual per capita domestic greenhouse gas pollution that threatens the word with a worsening climate genocide (according to DARA, 5 million people already die each year from climate change and carbon burning pollutants) with a predicted 100 million to die thus by 2030 if there is no effective action in climate change ;

3. continued disenfranchisement of Hispanics and African Americans (e.g. 78% of adult male African Americans in Chicago were excluded from the vote);

4. 1 million Americans will continue to die preventably each year due to the fiscal perversion of committing $5 trillion to killing 9 million Muslims abroad this century rather than keeping Americans alive at home (Google "1 million Americans die").

A key decision will be if Obama approves the Canada-to-Texas Keystone XL pipeline to carry oil from the Alberta oil sands - Obama declined to approve this before the election under fierce pressure from the environmentalists but he no longer needs their support and prioritized "independence from foreign oil" in his victory speech. If the Keystone XL pipeline goes ahead it is "game over" for the climate of the planet, according to top US climate scientist Dr James Hansen (NASA GISS).
00:42 November 10, 2012 by mo_slum
@Darthkuriboh

President Obama is a Christian! Get your facts straight.
02:01 November 16, 2012 by Lja0265
So I am to understand a man that has accomplished nothing positive in the United States is possibly going to be a great President with his second term?

Please, I'm tired of the non-sense from his supporters. He won re-election in the United States because 98% of all blacks in America voted for him. He won because of massive voter fraud from the DNC. He won because the Republicans tried to take a liberal Republican and dress him as a conservative. He won because he promised free stuff to so many American deadbeats.

He has accomplished nothing positive, only negative. He is like a drunken sailor in a cat house with a checkbook. He will be seen as one of the worst Presidents in American history. This man had never held a real job in his life before the left thought it would be cool to have a black President.

The United States is in terrible trouble and it appears the rest of the world acts like school children encouraging more poor behavior from Washington. I hope the world understands when the United States failes to show up to provide aid (military or humanitarian) in a couple of years because this "great President" turned us into a third world debtor nation.
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