By Philip Stephens, March 22, 2012 —
The world does not get a vote in the US presidential election. Never mind, politicians across the globe are lining up regardless behind Barack Obama. It is not just the usual suspects – soggy Europeans who abhor the culture wars waged by US conservatives. The Republicans are trailing in places where they have traditionally had a strong edge on the Democrats.
The tone was set during David Cameron’s visit to Washington. Feted at the White House, Britain’s Conservative prime minister all but endorsed Mr Obama’s claim to a second term. Thumbing his nose at the Tory party’s American cousins he declined to meet Republican leaders. Mr Cameron’s government is legislating in favour of gay marriage. A conversation with Rick Santorum might have been a little strained. . . .
The 2011 Global Attitudes Survey from the Pew Research centre showed that 88 per cent of Angela Merkel’s German voters still expressed confidence in Mr Obama. The figure for France was 84 per cent, for Britain 75 per cent and for Spain 67 per cent. . . .
As far as the outcome in November goes, of course, none of this much matters. Americans, rightly, will make their own choice. What is striking, though, is just how far the Republicans have strayed from the centre-right mainstream of western politics. Something odd is happening when the world’s conservatives vote Democrat.
See also The Republican Conundrum