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World Views Americans' Opinions Through Suburban Race

By Olivia Leigh in News on Oct 17, 2006 5:15PM

When Chicagoist was living abroad, discussions of American politics were often the most interesting, as well as the most embarrassing. Unlike the U.S., where many people would prefer news about Brangelina to political races around the globe (or in the States, for that matter), the global media has always taken interest in American politics.

This election season, the hotly contested 6th Congressional District seat has unexpectedly become an international election favorite, with reporters from Europe, Asia, Australia and even the Arabic Al-Jeezera descending on suburban Glen Ellyn to get the latest scoop.
The race for the 6th District seat, held for many years by retiring GOP leader Henry Hyde, pits the hand-picked war veteran, Tammy Duckworth, against the conservative state senator, Peter Roskam. The story has been picked up by outlets around the world, apparently serving as a barometer for the influence the war has had on American politics.

Peter Meunch, editor of the major German newspaper Sueddeutsche Zeitung recently ran a feature on Duckworth in the top slot of the paper. “Duckworth's story is a unique one so we were happy to have this piece in the paper,” he told the Tribune.” There is hardly a better case to describe America's political situation at the moment."

Aya Imaida, a reporter for the Japanese Nippon TV, said: "I thought this race shows the American people are divided, and this area was Republican for 32 years [with] Mr. Hyde. … Of course, I want to convey the message of how the American people think about the Iraq war."

While Roskam assumes the most likely opinion that the international coverage will have little to no effect on actual election results, the race will certainly have a global impact. Previously, our interest in this race was limited to a bit of an outsider’s amusement and awe, especially given all the workings with DCCC Chair Rahm Emanuel, but now, for the sake of our friends abroad, we only hope the Duck can pull out the win. Because, really, if this is a barometer of how we’re viewed abroad, we’d certainly take a decorated woman with potentially fresh leadership for the district over a man who was named one of the “Biggest Enemies of Gay Rights” by the Human Rights Campaign and Jane magazine, and also had the audacity to accuse Tammy, who lost both of her legs in Iraq, of wanting to “cut and run.”

With the controversial stances Roskam has that most likely won't fly abroad, you'd think he'd at least be able to manage a bit of tact....

Globe via Flickr user Patrick Q, with clearly awesome Photoshopping from the multitalented Olivia Leigh.