It continues to amaze me how much the Spanish people are interested in American politics. I suppose it’s inevitable; American policy decisions have a great deal of effect on other countries. There is a lot of optimism in the wake of Obama’s election. I hope he’s able to live up to the great expectations of the United States and the rest of the world.
To understand the political humor of another country, you have to get to a certain level of awareness of their politics. After some months, I’m to the point that I can understand most (but still not all!) of the editorial cartoons. There was a good one this morning, which will require a little bit of background. President José Zapatero of the Spanish Socialist Worker’s Party (PSOE) was elected in 2004 in the wake of the Madrid bombings. He fulfilled his campaign promise to remove Spanish troops from Iraq. This made two strikes against him in the eyes of former president George W. Bush, and he wasn’t given the opportunity for a third strike; throughout his presidency, he’s received the cold shoulder from the Bush administration. This came to a head during the planning of the international economic summit last November, to which Zapatero was pointedly not invited. (He finally attended as a guest of French president Nicolas Sarkozy.) Naturally, with the change of American administrations, there is a great deal of hope for better relations between Spain and the United States.
Here’s a link showing the page with the cartoon.
Sorry for the poor quality, but unless you want to pay for a subscription to El Diario Córdoba, you can´t see the good copy! However, the drawing is pretty simple. It shows President Zapatero in pajamas, sitting on the edge of his bed in the middle of the night, looking at the telephone while his wife is trying to sleep. He says, “How strange! It’s been two days since he became president, but he hasn’t called me yet.” His wife replies, “Surely he’s thinking about it, but he can’t find your number. Go to sleep already.”
Certainly a different point of view!