[The Economist, U.K.]



Diario Economico, Portugal

McCain is the Best:

Three Lessons from

the American Race …


"For a liberal, center-right European, John McCain is the preferred North American candidate  There are few things better than to see a free politician."


By João Marques de Almeida*


Translated By Brandi Miller



February 7, 2008


Portugal - Diario Economico - Original Article (Portuguese)

John McCain: Taking a small bite out of Obama's European support ...

For a liberal, center-right European, John McCain is the preferred North American candidate. For his liberal views of society and the economy, he's preferable to any other Republican candidate. I have the greatest respect for the Christian religion and its unique place in Western history (of which, incidentally, I am very proud), but I think that years of sermons in churches of the southern United States, where one rapidly loses rationality, is not the best preparation for taking power.


Neither does this position expose any particular dislike for the Democratic candidates, despite the fact that Bill Clinton’s hyper-active promotion of his wife causes me some discomfort. As a matter of principle, it's not good for an unelected person to have such enormous influence over a future president, as would happen if Hillary Clinton were elected.


As for Obama, he undoubtedly has political talent and charisma. However I'm not convinced that he's prepared to be the American president. I identify much more with McCain’s vision of the world and its dangers and threats than with the positions of Clinton or Obama. There are four questions that from Europe’s perspective are fundamental: keeping troops in Iraq; preventing Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons; engaging in World Trade Organization talks to reinforce the global free trade system; reforming the trans-Atlantic alliance and reforming NATO in 2009. I'm not sure a Democratic president will endeavor to accomplish these four objectives like McCain would.


In addition to these reasons, there are three other reasons that lead me to look even enthusiastically to McCain’s candidacy. The first has to do with McCain’s character and personality. There are few things better than to see a free politician. When during the 2006 elections the majority of Republican leaders - including the other candidates (with the exception of Giuliani) - concealed or changed their opinions about Iraq, McCain maintained his position. He passed the big test: he was faithful to his convictions even when they were profoundly unpopular. He gave priority to what he considered to be the North American interest at the expense of his immediate political career. At the end of last year, he was almost finished. A month later, he's the heavy favorite to win the Republican primaries. This is the lesson of McCain.


Secondly, if McCain is elected president in November he could change the Republican Party. As with all great parties of bipartisan political systems, the Republicans are an alliance of various political and ideological families. The Bush presidencies reinforced the power and influence of religious conservatives. However his two election victories don't seem to have sparked a longer-term trend. Almost all the other winners of the Bush years, particularly the heirs to Reagan and the neoconservatives, stand by McCain. Ironically, in view of many European commentators, the neoconservatives could play a critical role in defeating religious conservatives at the heart of the Republican Party. Despite the complications of recent times, the Republicans seem to understand that ideological radicalization is the worst thing that can happen to a party that wants to win elections. This is lesson of the Republican Party.                                                                           WORLDMEETS.US


Mitt Romney: Rejected despite his knowledge of economics.

Finally, the electorate seems ready to challenge a truth that has up to now been almost absolute: that in times of economic crisis, the economy decides elections. After the Michigan primary, Romney found his campaign theme: he would be the best qualified candidate to solve America's economic crisis. He accused his main rival of not understanding economics. But despite this, McCain won in South Carolina and Florida. And since it isn't expected that the economy will improve by the end of the primaries nor that by then the senator from Arizona will become an expert in  finance, we can assume that this is a truth that has stopped being absolute. And thank goodness, since this "truth" is based on erroneous ideas.                     WORLDMEETS.US


It isn’t governments that solve economic crises, create jobs or increase economic growth. What we ask is that they don’t take decisions that undermine the economy. As in many areas including the economy, governments have much power to do evil - and little power to do good. If one understands this, then it's clear that in times of crisis, it's more important to have a politician with experience than one with an understanding of economics. This would be the third lesson of the Americans … and the most useful of all for Europeans.

*João Marques de Almeida holds a Doctorate in International Relations 




Diario Economico, Portugal

Definitively, Barack Obama

is the Candidate of Europe …



































[WORLDMEETS.US Posted February 11, 10:20pm]