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Barack Obama's re-election reverberates far beyond US borders — so much so that citizens of some distant nations, like Pakistan and Turkey, say they too should have been able to vote. To give them a voice, GlobalPost interviewed people around the world for their views on the United States and who they hoped would win the election.

Germany

US Election: What if Germany could vote?

'I maybe prefer that he not bomb Syria. Or Iran.'

BERLIN, Germany — As part of GlobalPost's project to interview 100 people in 20 locations around the world about the 2012 US election, we asked Germany:

Who do you want to win the 2012 US election?

Will the election affect your country?

How has your view of the US changed since President Obama took office?

What should the next US president do?

 

  • Country: Germany
  • Name: Silvan Händeler
  • Occupation: Student
  • Age: 22
  • I would vote for: Obama
My vote: "I think Barack Obama — because I think he’s the better option for me, because I’m not conservative. And Barack Obama might not be the perfect choice for me, but he’s the better one compared to Mitt Romney. And,
yeah, I think it fits best for me in the election."

The election's impact: "I don’t know. Maybe. Well, I think so, because I think Obama would do, like, international things and if it’s about war and, like, I don’t know, military things, in the Arabic world or something, he would decide differently from Mitt Romney. So that would affect Germany, because we would have to decide if we go with them, or we don’t go with them, or something. So I think on that level it would affect Germany."

My view: "Better. Since he’s the first black President, and this country now votes for a black President is, I think, a great thing. Being progressive, and changing, and changing their minds — and that’s what I like about Americans, that they can, that you can see progress — I don’t know, I think they’re more open to new things. And, I don’t know, I think that shows you, that 50 years ago there was slaves, or not slaves, but people who had less rights than others because of their skin color,
and now they vote for president that is black. It’s great."

Top priority: "I don’t know, I think what’s important is the social security thing, [that’s] what Obama started, public health care and better social security system. And I would wish, for the next president, if it is Obama, for example, that he goes on with that. And I think he would do it, but I don’t know. Probably Mitt Romney will [I believe he meant ‘would’] stop it, so I hope it’s Obama."
  • Country: Germany
  • Name: Reomhard Schulz
  • Occupation: Retailer
  • Age: 55
  • I would vote for: Undecided
The election's impact: "I think no. I know — I read not much from him, what he say[s] about Germany, and I don’t know — I think, I say I don’t know."

My view: "Yes, I think, better. A better president [than Bush]. I feel this. Not facts; I feel this."

Top Priority: "I don’t know this. [German interlude in which he explains he’s against Obama’s health care plan] Many people want to delete this."
  • Country: Germany
  • Name: Gaby Pfeifer 
  • Occupation: Hospital accountant
  • Age: 50
  • I would vote for: Obama
My vote: "I would choose the same president, like now."

The election's impact: "Yes, I think it can, yes. It’s Wirtschaft-fragen [economical issues] and if there’s some struggle with other countries, then I think yes."

My view: "Better, I think. Because he’s engaged socially; he tries to make social reforms. That’s good, I think." 

Top priority: "They [she means the next president] should work so that there’s not so many poor people. I think that’s very important. [Me: In the US?] Yes And in the health system, to work more, to have a good treatment for any person." 
  • Country: Germany
  • Name: Maren Kreinhacke 
  • Occupation: Consultant
  • Age: 28
  • I would vote for: Obama
My vote: "No Well, I would not vote for [the] Republicans."

The election's impact: "Yes, it will. The USA is a very mighty country, a verymighty state, so yes, it will affect, because they — what America does, the United Nations do. Like for example,when there was a war in Iraq, so, like, the USA startedit and many countries followed."

My view: "It’s gotten better. Because first of all, he’s the first black President, and yeah, I think he tries. He tries to make
things better, he’s against the war [in the Middle East],
and he just tries to make things better." 

Top priority: "The health insurance for everyone."
  • Country: Germany
  • Name: Ingrid F.
  • Occupation: Business officer
  • Age: 54
  • I would vote for: Obama
My vote: "Obama. Because he’s the better man."

The election's impact: "In case Romney wins, yes. It will be difficult, I think it will be difficult; he doesn’t seem very interested in foreign policy. I mean, of other, they just have too many problems in their own country to care for euro problems, or something like that. They just want us to get rid of the problem so they can be left alone. And with Syria and all that coming up, it would be difficult,I think. If it’s Obama, we can just go on as we have, I think."

My view: "Improved. Because I didn’t like Bush. It’s quite obvious."

Top priority:  "I maybe prefer that he not bomb Syria. Or Iran. "

GlobalPost series: See what the world thinks about election 2012

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/europe/germany/120925/us-election-what-if-germany-could-vote