Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Sweden reacts to Obama victory

Needless to say Sweden was pretty happy about Obama’s win --- even the right wing Moderates expressed their joy with the selection. I overheard the following exchange on my commute to work.

3 ten year old boys sat engrossed in their smartphones discussing the virtues of Instragram, when one says:

“Hey, did you see that Obama won in the US”

“Yeah, Yeah, good huh?”

“Yeah good.”

“If it were the whole world voting he would have one easy don’t you think?”

“Yeah, that other guy wouldn’t stand a chance.”


“I have like 300 followers on Instagram…..”

And I think this conversation sums up the general reaction to the elections around here.

After Obama won the first time I remember on of my Swedish colleagues telling me “You know, for a minute there, I think even I kind of believed in the American dream. No way a minority Swede with an Arabic name could be voted into power as Prime Minister here in Sweden.”

This time the reaction was a bit more low key, but the American election is by far the only other election in the world that garners the front page of every major newspaper in Sweden. I don’t think even Denmark, Norway or Finland would have that honor.

I did get pissed listening to one morning radio that decalared “I think we should get to vote in the American election, I mean WE know more about what is going on in the US election than your average elction . .. .” Oh really? You think this is the case?

Because many Swedes think Obama is staunchly anti-death penalty and anti-gun and everything else they are anti. But in reality? Not so much. So while I am glad Swedes are knowledgable and have an opinion about the election, that doesn’t make you eligible to vote (although the US would look a lot different if you did – maybe for the better).


  1. For the longest time I thought Juholt was turkish, those eyebrows..

  2. Huh, interestingly, I've had the opposite problem; left-leaning Swedish dudes who can't stop telling other Swedes how *stupid* they are for being happy that Obama won, because there's No Difference At All between the candidates. Maybe one can afford to think that as a dude in Sweden, but s a queer lady living in the US, I kind of happen to disagree, even if I am far from all-pro Obama. I should write more about that.

  3. Sweden's excitement/happiness over the Obama victory is mirrored in most other European countries.

  4. To be honest, the chinese "election" also made the front page of every major newspaper. And in most cases the article had something about this being more important for the world than who is elected in the US.

    I've never heard anuone believe those thongs about Obama, my experience is more like what t-anna describes. Well not that people say there isn't any difference, more like that Obama is the lesser evil, but they are both way to conservative. So it's better than the alternative, but still nothing to be really happy about.

  5. I am doing a project for college and am in need of someone to interview from Sweden. ANYONE?

  6. I don't think Romney would have been all bad. He might even had been in a better place to tackle the budget deficit since the House of Representatives still has a Republican majority. To me Romney seemed like a pragmatic problem solver rather than the ideological "högerspöke" he was made out to be.

  7. I wish we swedes would be as open and engaged in our own politics as we are in the US.

  8. Youma - haha, I think the eyebrows keep him honest, but to me I just think of the muppets -- A little bit of the Swedish chef, no?

    T-anna --- interesting, maybe I need to widen my net of Swedish friends.

    Anthony - true...

    Anon - Didn't see it on the front page, but yes to be fair it did get a lot of coverage, even if I don't think your average Swede (or American) could name the last Chinese leader or the current one.

    Fredrik - Perhaps, guess we will never get a chance to know now.

    Mrs. Clapper - True, but I really think Swedish political debates are so much more honest than American ones.