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5 Nov, 2008 11:35

Wednesday’s press review

Wednesday’s press review

Russian newspapers focus on the duality of the U.S. elections results amidst the growing global financial crisis. The driving issue for most newspapers is what the election could change in American politics and what will happen now that the polls have clo

KOMMERSANT places an emphasis on Barack Obama's liberal policies and the negative reaction they provoked in some areas of American society. Their editorial begins with a scene from a pro-Republican demonstration, participants of which were outraged by the news that Obama has already been elected. They were wielding placards which read: “I vote for vet and mommy, not for socialist and commie”. The editorial then traces Barack Obama's last hours of campaigning.

In an opinion piece, Kommersant's correspondent Dmitryi Sidorov analyses the viability of the American electronic voting system. The general conclusion is that it is easy to use and fast to produce results. However, there are some problems with it. Notably, there is a possibility that people can vote in the name of others, without the authorities immediately realising.

ROSSIYSKAYA GAZETA explores the various omens associated with presidential elections in the U.S. For example, since 1980, the successful candidate was the one whose face sold best as a mask during Halloween. This year, there were 14% more Obamas than McCains on U.S. streets. The article follows on by investigating details of the candidates' campaigns and their uneasy path to voting day. Specific attention is paid to Barack Obama's family life, with the death of his grandmother and rumours that one of his aunt’s is an illegal immigrant.

Yuri Sajkin, in his article written from New York, discusses how journalists are not permitted to approach the polling stations. According to American law, reporters are only allowed to interview and film when they are at least 30 metres away from the voting booths. He also notes that experts suspect that Obama's personal loss (the death of his grandmother) had a positive effect on the number of votes for him.

VEDOMOSTI exposes the problems that the winning presidential candidate will have to face once he takes office. According to their editorial, the world has stepped out of the first phase of the global financial crisis, with the second phase being on its way. It promises to be much more destructive than the first one, placing developing economies under unbearable stress, which will change the face of world trade beyond recognition. The new president will have to function within this new climate.

KOMSOMOLSKAYA PRAVDA publishes a collection of “wishes” that various notable public figures, as well as ordinary Russians, have reserved for the future American president. Eduard Kokoyty, for example, wishes him “more wisdom, fairness and peacefulness” while a hairdresser from Kaliningrad suggests that he “locks his office door not to repeat the mistake of Bill Clinton and Monica Lewinski”.

Nikolay Korsakov writes about how the Russian nationalistic group “Nashi” has criticised the American political style for being too costly and pompous. They demonstrated their dissatisfaction by organising a flash mob near the U.S. embassy in Moscow. 15,000 activists lit jack-o-lanterns, claiming that it shows how many people have died due to “the U.S.' surge towards world domination”.

GAZETA discusses how groundbreaking the past election has become. Polina Himshiavili notes in her article that the number of voters who went to polling stations is the biggest since 1960. According to her sources, in some parts of the U.S. the queues to cast a vote stretched around whole blocks even before 7 a.m., when voting officially opened. The article focuses on the problematic campaign that John McCain went through, pointing out his main weaknesses.

A discussion panel notes that neither presidential candidate had a clear programme on how to save the American economy from the global crisis. It is also pointed out that in terms of economic policy, the differences between Republicans and Democrats are purely nominal. The measures that the future president will undoubtedly undertake will not depend on his political leanings, but will correspond to the financial climate in the country, experts point out.

Anna Bogdanova, RT.