Ever wonder what our nation looks like to folks from afar? Here we look at how a uniquely American story--the kind of news we have trouble explaining even to ourselves--is being told overseas. Want to see a particular topic covered here? Let us know.
Right now even conservative bastion National Review is running an article entitled "Just Say 'No!' to Newt" on its homepage (reason: "he snarls more than he smiles," he "cannot say 'America'" correctly, he overuses the word "frankly," and there's that women thing). If Americans are finding Gingrich's candidacy more of a curiosity than anything else, what do foreigners think of the spectacle?
"Honestly, that the Republicans have really fallen low and that it is always possible to reinvent oneself on this side of the Atlantic," writes Fabrice Rousselot for French paper Libération, as its New York correspondent. "One had thought to be done with a man who was one of the most detested figures of American politics in recent history." Another Libération writer, Lorraine Millot, told readers earlier this week that though Newt was the first "heavyweight" to enter, "he is far from fitting the mould of the perfect candidate." As she explained to her French audience:
Aged 67 years, Gingrich has both experience and notoriety ... To correct his retro image, Gingrich intends to announce his candidacy via Facebook and Twitter, where already 1.3 million follow him. But Gingrich launches with a major handicap for the Republican electorate (the subject made the first page of the New York Times yesterday): he is on his third marriage and was even cheating on his wife at the time he was denouncing Clinton's deficiencies of conduct.
Antonio Caño for Spanish El País also mentions Callista, whom Gingrich started seeing before he had divorced his second wife. The best thing Caño can say about Gingrich is that he "has, without doubt, the experience and the recognition that is lacking in all the names that have circulated so far. Has the charisma needed to attract the moderate sector of his party and conservative enough to win the support of the radical majority that currently dominates Republicanism."