Jeffrey Gedmin explains the European perspective on American political figures.
When some Europeans say they like Americans,they tend to mean those Americans who seem most like European Social Democrats, and even then they airbrush out inconvenient details like the fact that Bill Clinton favoured the death penalty, that Hillary voted for the Iraq war, or that John F. Kennedy, that suave and promiscuous East coast liberal was also a staunch anti-communist, who frequently quoted from the bible. George W. Bush is the full package of everything that makes Europe squirm. He is anti-elitism. He’s religion. He’s morality and muscle. He’s patriotism and self-confidence. He is very un-European. (…)
When European commentators say they are yearning for an end to American unilateralism, our moral crusades and the influence of those dreaded “fundamentalist evangelicals,” what they really mean is that they are longing for the United States to become more like Europe: secular, post-national, consensus-seeking and Social Democratic. So on to the next disappointment. Even with the Democrats, it ain’t gonna happen.”