Confirming what I already know: discussing US elections outside of the USA is generally painful.
The story begins about 2 weeks ago: I am reading aloud to my boyfriend in the train from Paris to Aachen (on the way home from our trip).
I had bought a UK Telegragh newspaper at Gare du Nord to help pass the time. I picked it because it was English and because it had two sections so we could swap.
In it, of course, was a couple articles blasting Palin. Specifically it was blasting her ABC interview. I’ve no desire to go into politics on this blog, nor do I like discussing broad sweeping political notions in general but sometimes you are squeezed a bit.
So anyway, this newspaper and this article, not unlike the majority of Europe, was pro-Obama. I didn’t watch the interview but I’m fairly sure the article only covered her “weak” areas.
Towards the end of the article Palin was quoted as giving the statement “God has a plan for Iraq”, which I then read and then read aloud to D, who was sitting beside me. From the seats across from us, an older British woman pipes in:
“And who may I ask said this?” with an indignant tone.
I realized then that I’m in a position I hate to be in. You know, the one where you are clearly an American and as such, you are suddenly Miss or Mr. United States of America. Endowed at this moment with all the good and bad traits this entails, it really is true that each opinion or feeling you have is exactly how EVERY American feels.
I reply then, “It seems that Sarah Palin did, during an interview.” I said this carefully, but tried to sound neutral.
To which she smirked and asked “And what do you think of Sarah Palin?”
I told her that I didn’t know her [true], but that this article was pointing out her flaws [true]. And I replied that she didn’t have a passport until this year [snarky]. I had just read that in a previous article, and I must admit I did find that disconcerting. Not necessarily terrible, but that certainly doesn’t make her very worldly. I mean, let’s face it, it doesn’t.
So then the lady replied “so you probably know more about us than she does.” [triple-snarky]
I let [assured that] the conversation die there [by refraining any further forward glances]. It was obvious she would have loved to pick my brain about the atrocity of American elections. And the bigger atrocity that would be the US with Palin as VP. [eye-rolling appropriate]
During the last election I was in living in Montreal, and I believe I was asked every other day if I was voting Democrat or Republican. Bush or Gore. Hilly billy or Environmentalist.
If I was on a train this week would I be interogated about the US economy?