In Other Election News — How the Rest of the World Saw That Debate

Of course the elephant not in the room hit the headlines here, but how did the rest of the world view that invisible Republican pachyderm?

A quick flick through Google News (often together with a click on the “Translate” option) offers an insight into how much attention was paid to the Megyn Kelly Show by other nations’ news organizations.

Argentina’s MDZ Online offers a fetching graphic of the missing elephant himself, resplendent in a patterned monochrome sombrero, with the headline Trump boycotted the Republican debate on Fox News. So far, so good.

In Australia, The Sydney Morning Herald tells us: Donald Trump hijacks Fox News Republican debate before Iowa caucuses, and adds: “Four nights before the crucial first contest of the primary campaign, the Iowa caucuses, Trump managed to hijack the Republican Party’s debate and turn it into a reality TV show starring himself.”

To the north, the headline of Canada’s 680 News (for English-speaking readers) runs: GOP rivals mock Trump in debate, Trump’s rally nets $6 million. The best quote in this story has to be from Ben Carson: “I don’t think you need to be a politician to tell the truth”. How many ways can you take that?

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For French-speaking Canadian readers, La Presse offers: Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders: two visions, two campaign styles. The translate feature kind of lost it here, but the first paragraph of the story does make for interesting reading: “Bernie comes in the severe mine, pursed lips, and loose only a forced smile, as moved by the ovation that hosts. Hillary tumbles radiant, she cries, laughs, articulated “thank you” marvels and discover so much support.”

China’s’s take on the evening’s events were somewhat of a disappointment. The headline Chile and US: Two places where miracles happened had potential. Maybe Martin O’Malley had quietly become the Democratic front runner. Sadly, the story below the headline had nothing to do with recent events in Iowa.

French readers of Le Figaro (or those studying French with the help of the translation facility) learned that the Republican campaign is now down to two contenders, thanks to the front-page graphic and headline Among American Republicans, the elections of wrath. No prizes for working out who those two contenders are — they’d be the same in any language.

In Germany, anyone translating Die Welt’s headline would find it says: Trump demanded five million for TV appearance — went on to say he’d collected six million dollars for vets with this event, and donated a million of his own. Why the writer of that short little report felt it necessary to tell us Trump is 69 three separate times, who knows?

Haaretz readers in Israel read: Republican Rift Widened by Trump’s Fox News Debate Fight, followed by: “There was some mystery as to which veterans’ groups would receive the money raised at the event, which included $1 million from Trump himself. His campaign did not say which group was getting the funds”.

New Zealand’s Fox News runs the headline: Hillary Clinton’s worst nightmare: Hint — it’s not Bernie Sanders. It’s not really a local view, just Fox News’ Opinion, from Judge Andrew P. Napolitano.

In Portugal, their Jornali’s headline reads: USA. Trump does not want to participate in the last Republican debate. As for the rest of the story, it’s not really one of the translation program’s finest moments. Quoting the Donald’s “Stand in the middle of Fifth Avenue and shoot somebody” boast from a few days back, it runs: “The drop points ‘could reach the 5th Avenue and give a shot to someone who did not lose votes,’ said Donald Trump last Sunday, in another of his controversial and confident statements.” Confident? Certainly. Controversial? Definitely. Incomprehensible? Absolutely.

The best headline so far has to be from Russia’s Hillary Clinton wants to give Obama a judge. They quote (so says the translation) Ted Cruz as saying: “If the tender Donald is so afraid of journalists, we can not do without a moderator. We will meet at the town hall with Iowans.” Ah, that tender Donald — Lickin’ finger good.

The Spanish CNN Espanol headline, when translated, reads: Why the Clinton Campaign decays and Sanders shooting. This makes for a refreshing change — there’s no mention of Trump whatsoever, or his absence from that debate.

As for the UK’s Telegraph’s headline Republican presidential debate: Donald Trump’s absence overshadows final clash before Iowa caucus — who could disagree with that?

And at 4:17am UK time, the newspaper’s live blog revealed the debate’s overall winner: Megyn Kelly.

Of course.

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