MERVE BÜŞRA ÖZTÜRK

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MERVE BÜŞRA ÖZTÜRK
November 08, 2012, Thursday

US avoided gambling: Obama once again

US President Barack Obama won re-election Tuesday night, vanquishing his Republican rival Mitt Romney and triumphing despite a weak economy that plagued his first term. Turkey was one of the countries that reacted favorably to Obama's re-election amid relief at the prospect of a more stable world, as Obama is largely seen as a president who won't create too many foreign policy headaches.

Milliyet's Hasan Cemal says not all Americans voted willingly for Obama, but they did not want to gamble on Romney. Americans feared that Romney might create new problems with his hawkish stance, reminding one of the Cold War era. Also, Americans were worried that they might find themselves in another severe financial crisis with Romney's economic policies, which promised lower taxes and increased military expenditures. And so they did not trust him, and instead of playing a high-risk gamble with Romney, they preferred to cruise smoothly in Obama's calm but safe seas -- which was the right choice, Cemal thinks.

Star's Fehmi Koru focuses on the significance and consequences of Obama's re-election. The US election was closely followed by the whole world. The reason for this is easy to understand: The US is still the most important country in our unipolar world, and the decisions taken in Washington can deeply affect all of our lives. Obama was unable to meet the expectations of other countries in his last four years in office, and he could not raise a strong voice against the unfairness and inequality in the world, but he had the world convinced that he is a right-minded and well-meaning man. If other countries had had the right to vote in the US election, they would have voted for Obama for sure, he says, adding that Turkey was indeed relieved to see Obama's victory.

Ahmet Altan from Taraf says while watching the election and Obama's victory speech, he could not stop himself from feeling envious. “A black man won the elections once again. And we are talking about a country that went through bloody clashes between whites and blacks, brutal murders and deep pain. Obama's rival in the election was a white man, but he was also from another minority group -- Mormons. The two candidates for the presidency were from minority groups. As the citizen of a country whose politics are mainly carried out along ‘racial and sectarian lines,' is it possible not to envy a country that has managed to leave such polarization behind?”

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