Obama is re-elected US president: What the Dutch papers say

Too late for the morning editions, how have the Dutch media reacted to Barack Obama’s re-election as president of the US?

‘Obama re-elected!’ is the Telegraaf website headline. The Netherlands’ right-wing paper has gone for a simple statement of fact although the exclamation mark may hint at a favourable editorial stance.
The biggest selling Dutch paper has gone for straightforward reporting all the way, unlike the Volkskrant which has gone all out and dedicated a special digital edition to the event with analyses, interviews and election-related titbits.
In an analysis, the paper’s special correspondent Arie Elshout writes that Obama is facing some very serious challenges. Not only will he be confronted with the ‘fiscal cliff’, which the US will fall off if the combination of cut backs and higher taxes goes ahead on January 1st, he may also be having a ‘nuclear moment’ if Iran persists in developing its nuclear weapons programme.
Elshout also had time to interview some of Obama’s ‘footsoldiers’. In spite of the most expensive election campaigns of all time, it was the volunteers who phoned and knocked on doors who won the presidency for Obama, Elshout writes.
The NRC is clearly happy about the win. ‘Watch and read Obama’s riveting victory speech’ it tells its readers. It then takes down the garlands and wonders ‘What is Barack Obama going to do in his second term?’
The president has been remarkably vague on that score, the paper writes. The next four years will be mainly about consolidation. Obamacare, ‘one of the most far-reaching social reforms of the last fifty years’ will stay, but any other big steps will be blocked by the Republican majority in the House of Representatives’, the paper concludes.


Free newspaper Spits solves the timing dilemma with a dual front page print edition. Page one features a victorious Obama and the headline ‘America keeps hoping’. But in the case of a Romney win, readers are told to turn over the paper.
The back page features a victorious Romney and the headline ‘America votes for the right’ and subhead ‘Romney beats Obama after a clever come-back’.
Dutch politicians
Elsevier has the reaction of prime minister Mark Rutte who is on a trade mission to Turkey. Rutte said he was looking forward to continuing the ‘excellent relationship’ with the US and hoping to strengthen economic ties. Rutte wants to promote a free trade agreement between the US and Europe, Elsevier writes.
Trouw has only managed to get two other political reactions so far: from D66’s Alexander Pechtold, who calls Obama ‘an inspiring national and international leader’ and VVD leader Halbe Zijlstra, who is pleased Obama will have a second go at ‘tackling the mountain of debt’.
Your thoughts on the Dutch reactions? Use the comment box below.

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