European Press Review: ″Smart and from the South″ | Europe| News and current affairs from around the continent | DW | 07.07.2004
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European Press Review: "Smart and from the South"

European newspapers on Wednesday mostly endorsed U.S. presidential candidate John Kerry's choice of John Edwards as his running mate.

"Smart and from the South" declared Italian daily La Stampa. Young people like John Edwards for his direct and brilliant style. The conservatives in the South like him because he takes a more moderate position on subjects like tax reductions, abortion and the death penalty compared to the liberal Presidential candidate John Kerry, the paper wrote. The daily however argued that it's Edward's financial policies of ending the privileges of big multinationals at the expense of the poor that will be his main strategy of attack against the Republicans.

De Volkskrant from the Hague, was not surprised by the decision of John Kerry to nominate John Edwards as his vice presidential candidate. The Senator from the North is covering all bases, wrote the daily. Edwards portrays a more youthful image and is more personable, he's from a common background and from the south where conservative values are more in demand. But the paper doubted that Edwards will win even one state away from the Republicans without Kerry winning more trust in the South.

Edwards is a good choice said Spain's El Pais. Despite his lack of political experience, the Senator from North Carolina has proven he's articulate and is openly making up for the lack of those qualities in the presidential candidate John F. Kerry. Nominating his closest political rival as his running mate, remarked the daily, has given Kerry's campaign a populist touch.

According to the Neue Zürcher Zeitung both Bush and Kerry are determining their own political fate. In recent times the Democratic contender has not cut a bad

figure by simply remaining in the background and allowing President Bush to stew in his own juice, the daily wrote. But this won't be enough in the long term, it warned. Kerry needs to set himself apart in the next few weeks before the hot phase of the election campaign begins and he's on the back foot again.

It should not be difficult to challenge George W Bush in the presidential elections, said Danish paper, Politiken. Yet the Democrat John Kerry has not yet convinced the electorate that he's the man for new and better politics. The paper suggested Kerry should depend more heavily on Edwards. The 51-year old lawyer from North Carolina is now the direct competitor to Republican vice president Dick Cheney who the paper described as reactionary, worn out politically, unhealthy and burdened with the failures in Iraq.

British daily The Guardian said: the fact that Mr Kerry did not choose any one of the candidates he obviously felt more comfortable with, speaks volumes about the bare-knuckle fight for the White House that lies ahead. The paper noted that John Edwards' speeches rouse rather than ramble and he attracts epithets like 'golden boy' and 'the sexiest politician'. Mr Kerry has eschewed sober considerations about the best possible mix of talents once he has got his feet under the desk of the Oval Office, going instead for the man most likely to get him through the door, the daily commented.