Greg Shapiro: Nederland cheers Obama – more than their own Cabinet

It was quite an Election Day in America this week – and in the Netherlands as well. For the most part, Dutch people are overjoyed although they’re not able to explain why, exactly, writes Greg Shapiro.

Election Day 2012.

– I started out talking to AT5. The interviewer said she hoped Obama would win. Why? Mostly because Romney was too white.

– That evening we did the last performance of ‘My Big Fat American Election’ at Boom Chicago. For the first time in the entire run, there were ZERO Romney supporters. The show became wildly pro-Obama, which was a crowd-pleaser. Why did they support Obama? Because he’s cool. + Democrats Abroad at Boom Chicago. Pretty clear.

– Melkweg ‘President’s Night’ / ‘All-American Breakfast.’ There were quite a few right-wing politicians & commentators. (Jack de Vries, Kay van de Linde, Jaap de Hoop Scheffer.) Yet when we asked ‘Who here supports Mitt Romney?’ There was only 1 lonely hand raised

‘Why do you support Romney,’ I asked.

‘Clearly, no one else is going to,’ he said.

I spoke to a Dutch woman at NOS news. She said she supports Obama because Romney’s budget plans were so bad. ‘He’d put us all back into recession.’ Was she talking about Mitt Romney – or Mark Rutte? Maybe it was time to switch to Dutch politics.

If Mark Rutte cuts the budget again, maybe we’re heading for a 3rd recession. Do you think Obama’s new budget will help?

She said ‘Maybe.’

I said ‘The new 21% sales tax is really hurting consumer confidence. Do you think Obama could help?’

She said ‘Probably, yeah.’

I asked about the new Dutch cabinet. I said ‘It’s nice that most of the junior ministers are from the other party. It’s more bi-partisan than America!’

She said ‘Honestly, I haven’t been paying attention to Dutch politics. I’ve been so caught up with the Obama campaign!’

So there you have it. The American is more interested in Dutch politics, and the Dutch woman is more interested in American politics.

I said ‘As an American, I find that ironic.’

She said there’s a first time for everything.

So – Congratulations, Dutchies! Obama gets 4 more years. Meanwhile, you’re stuck with Mark Rutte, the Dutch Mitt Romney.


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