International Papers

Clinton in Clover

If you missed the most recent installments of this column, here they are: posted Tuesday, Nov. 3, and Friday, Oct. 30.

President Clinton’s stock rocketed around the world as front pages celebrated the Democrats’ success in the midterm elections. “Revenge” was a very popular word in headlines. “The Revenge of President Bill Clinton” was Thursday’s front-page headline in Le Monde of Paris. “Clinton’s Revenge,” echoed La Repubblica of Rome. Most European newspapers pointed up the “euphoria” in the stock markets or, as La Repubblica put it, “Sexgate: Failed Operation.” La Stampa of Turin said, “America Absolves Clinton … The Bush Dynasty Is Born.”

In Germany, the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung led its front page Thursday with the headline “Vote of Confidence for Clinton in the Congressional Elections: Unexpected Win for the Democrats,” while Munich’s Süddeutsche Zeitung announced, “Success for Clinton’s Democratic Party” and highlighted the unseating of Sen. Al D’Amato and the party’s “theft” of California.

In Britain, the Times, under the headline “Clinton’s tactics pay off for Democrats,” reported that “stunned Democrats woke up yesterday to find their election victories had outstripped their loftiest predictions.” Meanwhile, the conservative Daily Telegraph downplayed the story with a small front-page reference, which noted, however, that “the vote, which halved the Republican majority in the House of Representatives and froze it in the Senate, was the best mid-term performance by a president’s party since the 1930s.” The Independent shouted, “Clinton: ‘We turned tide of history,’ ” while the liberal Guardian confined the story to Page 2 under the headline “Clinton hails ‘vindication.’ “

In India, the Hindu said that “the Democrats have held their own in a remarkable fashion,” while Japan’s biggest-selling paper, Asahi Shimbun, reported that “the outcome of the US mid-term elections conveyed a clear message from the voters: politicians should pay more attention to the livelihood of the people.” The South China Morning Post of Hong Kong used the headline “Clinton joy over historic election gain,” while the Straits Times of Singapore described the Democrats as the “victors.” In the Philippines, the Manila Bulletin reported that “women, blacks and Hispanics rallied to support President Bill Clinton against threatened impeachment” and, in Pakistan, the daily Dawn said, “Americans reject Clinton’s impeachment.”

In Australia, the Sydney Morning Herald headlined “Republicans burning with bitter defeat,” while in South Africa the Cape Argus said, “Hillary’s power saves Bill’s bacon at polls.” In Canada, the Globe and Mail said, “Republicans vow to press impeachment crusade” and that the Democrats “warn foes to back off.”

In London, the Financial Times gave much greater prominence to the U.S. offer of a $5 million reward for information leading to the arrest of Osama bin Laden. Nevertheless, in an editorial Thursday the paper said that the midterm elections were a victory for political moderation. It said, “If the Republican leadership allows the religious right to dominate the debate, the party will condemn itself to another four years outside the White House. … The US public has made clear that it likes to take its politics in moderation.”

Le Monde’s second front-page story, headlined ” ‘Indian’ or ‘whale’? A real ecological dilemma,” was devoted to a bitter conflict between conservationists and Native American whale hunters at Neah Bay, northwest of Seattle.