US voters cast their ballot amid signs of greater alienation from politics. The Washington Post and other papers paint a bleak portrait of the mood among Americans two years after Obamamania. That’s the focus in today’s international press review: MONDAY, 2ND NOVEMBER 2010
The Washington Post headlines “America Votes”. It is asking the question "If you had to use a single word to describe your feelings about the federal government what would it be ?" It has four selections on its front page: self-achieving, freedom-robbing, disappointed and necessary. The voters giving their verdict are from Pennsylvania and Ohio where there are key congressional races. The report paints a bleak portrait of the mood in the US - a long way from the Obamania of two years ago.
The Los Angeles Times also has photos of some of the final moments of the campaign and again a negative. The top headline reads: “Stimulus fails to motivate voters”. The article says that while the country’s stimulus package was a centrepiece of campaigns in California people are not seeing the effects. It talks to one man - Kevin Rodrigues - who lost his business and is surviving on savings and odd jobs. He says the stimulus package didn’t put money in people’s pockets to buy the re-modeled kitchens he used to make and so he can’t envisage going back in to business. The LA Times also looks at the negative equity issue in a piece entitled: « Pay the mortgage, hurt the economy ». It says while attention has been on foreclosures over the last two years, a bigger problem may turn out to be the people still paying their mortgages. It argues that homes are worth far less than before and are absorbing billions of dollars that could go on consumer spending.
The Wall Street Journal Europe eadlines that the Democrats are bracing for big losses. There’s a photo a man at a Tea Party candidate rally Hell Hath No Fury Like a Citizen Scorned. The editorial by Gerald Sieb says as the Democrats lick their wounds, they should reflect on Ronald Reagan. He says the Teflon President bounced back from losses in the midterms in 1982 on the back of economic growth. Unemployment then was higher then and Reagan’s approval rating was lower than Obama’s is now. Reagan, the paper says, did it by focussing on the economy. Seib says some Democrats now feel there has to be “an intense focus on economic growth”.
The Ivory Coast has had six delays to elections in 11 years and at last Ivorians have been able to vote. Four out of five did so on Sunday in the first round of the presidential election. The main contenders are the incumbent Laurent Gbagbo, former President Henri Konan Bedie and former prime minister Alassane Outarra who is a former prime. Fraternité Matin, which is pro-Gbagbo, leads on a call for calm by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon.
Another Ivorian Paper, Le Nouveau Reveil, echoes concerns about tensions by printing the entire statement of observer mission in the country. It says there were “no major irregularities”. The main problem was delays in opening polling booths.
And another Ivorian paper, Le Patriote, lists the statements by leaders. Several of the 14 candidates say this is a time for peace and democracy. They are being pressured to accept the results as they come out.
In the UK, the Daily Mail headlines: “Royal Wedding in their Sights”. Prince William’s girlfriend Kate Middleton could be the latest addition to join the royal family. The paper suggests that is because Middleton’s parents have been on a shooting weekend at Balmoral, the Queen’s estate in Scotland. The photo caption reads “Bagging a royal son-in-law” as Kate Middleton’s mum, Carole Middleton, stalks a deer. The article says Kate first started going out with the prince when she was 20 and will turn 29 in January. The paper suggests Kate's looming fourth decade could lead to wedding bells and an end to the nickname: "Waity Katie".