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December 9, 2007

American Politics: The World View

Women around the globe get brutally honest about our next election — and us.

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Photo Credit: Dutchy/iStock

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Kyoko Matsuda, 37, office assistant for furniture company
“Japanese politics are incredibly boring — the same party has dominated here for more than 50 years — but things seem much more dynamic in America. It will be years before Japan could even think of electing a female head of government, so it will be fascinating to see how far Hillary can get. I also like John Edwards — he is young and good-looking and seems to have lots of energy. In the end, though, most Japanese people probably won’t care who replaces [Bush], as long as it is someone they can do business with.”

Sarah Stewart, 36, journalist based in Malaysia
“I’m desperate for this presidency to end and for the U.S. to begin reestablishing its priorities and repairing the damage of the last eight years to foreign policy. Living in Malaysia, a Muslim-majority country, I am very aware of how disappointed people are by the actions of the outgoing administration. I hope the next U.S. president does something to restore America’s reputation abroad.”

Natalie Straessle, 29, medical-liaison officer
“Nobody could be worse than Bush, so I don’t care who replaces him as much as I care about him leaving office. I don’t like his conservative politics, and I don’t like war. Switzerland is a neutral country, so I grew up hating that kind of global aggression. I think America needs a big change, and I would be very impressed if the country elected either Barack Obama or Hillary Clinton as the next president. To me, it would show that the American people are ready to take risks and be progressive in order to improve their lives.”

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