The global media were inundated with headlines about the U.S. presidential election this weekend as much of the world clung to the coverage of the record-breaking race.
Foreign newspapers and magazines focused on the nature of the race and the future of the new administration of President-elect Joe Biden. Both America’s allies and enemies are eagerly awaiting what President Donald Trump will do next and what signals Biden’s transition team will send regarding their priorities.
In the United Kingdom, newspapers focused on Biden’s victory, but also on the fragmented political scene in the United States and how difficult it will be for the elected president to heal the open wounds, especially as Trump refuses to accept defeat.
The Sunday Times headline read: “Sleepy Joe wakes America” – an allusion to Trump’s nickname for his 77-year-old rival. The Times meanwhile noted the “joyful scenes after days of stagnation” in the USA.
The left-leaning Guardian newspaper said Biden’s victory “renews hope for the US and the world” and brings “a new promise of democracy and progress” after “four years of turbulent misinformation, manipulation and division”.
The BBC, however, was more cautious. While Biden won, the national channel said: “Donald Trump may have become one of the few US presidents to lose his re-election, but Trumpism lives on”. The Independent called the result: “A new dawn for America.
Publications in other European nations allied with the United States had the same mixture of optimism about Biden’s victory and concern about the deeper problems of American politics. The French newspaper Le Monde said the election results “brought great relief in Europe”, but its website noted the “desire for a fight” within the Trump campaign and among his supporters.
Le Figaro welcomed Vice President-elect Kamala Harris and called her “a pioneer in the White House” because she was the first female politician and the first woman of color to be elected to this office.
The German magazine “Der Spiegel” said Biden faced an “almost impossible task” and noted that his victory was achieved by a “wave” rather than the “wave” that the Democrats had hoped for. The U.S. remained a “deeply divided nation,” the magazine said, though it revisited the famous front page where Trump beheaded the Statue of Liberty to show how Biden replaced the head.
The headline of the German Frankfurter Allgemeine was less optimistic: “Despite defeat: Trump lives on”. Noting that Trump had collected a record number of votes for an outgoing president, the newspaper wrote: “Regardless of the outcome of the fight for the White House after the election, one thing was already clear on Tuesday night: Trumpism is alive. It will continue to shape Washington in the future.
In Canada, The Globe and Mail also celebrated Harris’ achievement, but said that their election “will not repair the United States. The newspaper published articles on the impact of Biden’s election on Canadian climate policy and the fate of Canadian citizens imprisoned in China. The Globe and Mail also noted that the coronavirus pandemic is still raging in the United States amidst the celebrations for Biden’s election.
Israeli newspapers focused on Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s close relationship with Trump, noting that he must move to a potentially less lenient Biden government. An article in the Haaretz said it was time for Netanyahu to “sober up” and deal with Biden.
The Times of Israel asked what Trump’s lame duck time meant for Israel. Whether it means arms sales, approval of the annexation of the West Bank, or other measures regarding Iran, there is a lot the president could do in his remaining term, the newspaper said.
The Australian tabloid The Daily Telegraph, owned by Rupert Murdoch, said Trump was a “hotspur” who refused to accept the outcome. The newspaper said that the conflict was likely to continue and that the president “simply would not accept the humiliation of being apparently beaten by an enemy whom he considered weak and hardly worth the effort to appear for battle.
The New Zealand Herald carried a smiling picture of Biden next to the headline on Sunday: “Taking control. He described the President-elect as “super confident” and said that the ballots in progress counted and Trump’s refusal to announce the result was “a very good one”.