Archive for September, 2008

British Interest in American Election

I was walking along a small suburban London street yesterday when I heard a woman tell her male friend “I just wasted most of the day watching election coverage”.

I thought hard but couldn’t recall any British election going on right now. Could she possibly mean our election?

Sure enough, she went on to talk about watching all the speeches from the “Republican Conference”, as well as Michelle Obama’s speech from last week’s convention, all on the BBC website.

I didn’t identify myself as an American (or elsewise for that matter) so I could eavesdrop research without affecting the results.

She went on to say that she found Sarah Palin to be “absolutely abhorrent” and that she couldn’t “wrap my mind around how anyone could possibly vote for these people.” I couldn’t agree more.

After I found my way back to my hostel, I noticed that BBC television was breaking into programming (mostly American sitcoms) to play any RNC speeches they considered interesting.

And the headline on one of London’s free daily newspapers today was

This level of interest surprised me, I guess because British politics receives barely a mention on American newscasts and in the public sphere (diehard C-SPAN watchers notwithstanding). But then the Brits don’t go around bullying others and starting wars. Anymore.