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from The Great Debate UK:

Imagining an election in the United States of Europe

By Kathleen Brooks. The opinions expressed are her own.

The aftermath of the U.S. presidential election has seen some tentative steps towards political harmony. After a bruising campaign with Democrats and Republicans at each others throats for most of the last two years, President Obama declared in his victory speech that there is no such thing as blue or red states, there is only the United States of America.

This is what makes America one country.  Different states may have various social and cultural attitudes, but at the end of the day each person identifies themselves as American, and they are proud. Likewise, the euro zone is made up of disparate member states with different cultures, attitudes and fiscal stances. But that is where the similarity ends. The U.S. presidential election was a stark reminder just how far we from a United States of Europe.

To highlight this, take a moment to imagine what an election in the U.S.E. would look like. Who would run for office? What would be the major issues that dominated an election? Would the people in Europe vote in a harmonious group or would there be regional variations as you see in the U.S., with the two coasts mostly held by the Democrats while the middle is dominated by the Republicans.

Let’s take a closer look at the first point – who would run for office? Right now you could imagine a neat North and South split – with the frugal North vs. the spendthrift South. The campaign trail could be fairly fiery with the North campaigning on a platform of austerity and the South pledging to do away with austerity and budget cuts instead proclaiming to boost growth.

from Expert Zone:

Weighing the Obama-Romney calculus

(The views expressed in this column are the author’s own and do not represent those of Reuters)

Much is at stake in the United States presidential elections this year, perhaps more in terms of policy than in the past few election cycles. The presidency of Barack Obama has been fraught with battles in a deeply divided Congress, leading to paralyses on some major agenda such as government debt, and significant compromises on others such as healthcare reform.

from Breakingviews:

Americans can’t feel better than companies forever

By Daniel Indiviglio
The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are his own.

Consumers are feeling better than companies these days, but that might not last long. Cheerier shoppers splashing out more cash could transform business’s bad attitude. But gloomy executives may be more likely to pour cold water on enthusiastic Americans if their pessimism leads to slower hiring.

from Breakingviews:

U.S. political jamborees alienate Mr. Market

By Daniel Indiviglio and Jeffrey Goldfarb
The authors are Reuters Breakingviews columnists. The opinions expressed are their own.

Mr. Market would have felt unwelcome in Charlotte and Tampa over the last couple of weeks. The political jamborees hosted in the two southeastern U.S. cities offered stark differences in tone that mirror the different options Americans face in November’s elections. Eat the fiscal spinach served up by Mitt Romney and the Republicans, or gorge on the pro-worker red meat dangled by Barack Obama and the Democrats. Voters may be tempted by one or the other, but investors will probably turn their noses up at both.

from Breakingviews:

U.S. leaders could learn from European austerity

By Daniel Indiviglio
The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are his own.

U.S. leaders could learn from Europe’s austerity. Noting the lessons of the continent’s flubs and fixes would help either Barack Obama or Mitt Romney tackle the policy and politics of a debt load that just surpassed $16 trillion. Waiting too long might give investors time to make a new choice.

from Photographers' Blog:

Mitt Romney: Then and now

By Brian Snyder

Before his campaigns to be the Republican nominee for President of the United States, Mitt Romney challenged Ted Kennedy for the U.S. Senate. While Romney ultimately lost the race against Senator Kennedy, I covered his victory rally in September 20, 1994 when he won the Republican primary.

Some things have changed since then, but much has not. Romney’s parents, who were with him onstage in 1994, have since died, and he now campaigns not only with his children, but also his grand children.

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