Middle East view of U.S. election

The World

People in the Middle East are following the U.S. presidential campaign. In part it’s because this campaign has real drama unlike most elections in this region. Lebanon’s Information Minister says another reason is because people have a stake in the outcome. One local analyst suggests Americans will never elect a Black man to president, but still most in the Middle East apparently favor Obama. This professor says support for Obama in the Middle East stems from disenchantment with U.S. policy towards the region, and Obama would stop the violence in the region and focus more on negotiation. But this analyst says there is a good amount of support for McCain, especially among Lebanese pro-government populations. Other analysts suggest it doesn’t really matter who’s elected. This analyst says the basic U.S. policy towards the Middle East will not change no matter who is elected. In Syria, this analyst also says it doesn’t matter much who wins the election, but the people of the Middle East want the next president to restore America’s reputation as a respected world leader. It’s hard to say who the terrorists are rooting for, but the common perception is they’d prefer a hardline president.

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