Elephant Valery and donkey Sister voted at a Californian zoo. The animals probably have no clue that they betrayed their parties...
The Russian news media covers American elections in almost greater detail than the American media does. Russian readers can find plenty of information about both American presidential candidates, the scandal involving Alaska Senator Ted Stevens, an alleged murder conspiracy against Obama, Sarah Palin's love for fine clothes and hockey, and Barack's infomercial blanketing of American TV channels. However, the Russian mainstream media also gives a fair amount of coverage to minor party American presidential candidates, who, somehow, are largely ignored in their own country.
"Debates in a Margin of Error" by Gazeta.ru (Russia's most popular online news source) describes the debates between independent candidate Ralph Nader and constitutionalist candidate Chuck Baldwin. According to Gazeta.ru, the debates took place at the Mayflower Hotel in Washington D.C. and were attended by "journalists and students of the Washington University." The presidential candidate of the Green Party, Cynthia McKinney, and the Libertarian candidate Robert Barr did not attend the debates because of their "conflict of schedules." The correspondent for Gazeta.ru was disappointed with the lack of contention between the two debating candidates. Basically, both Nader and Baldwin agreed that the bi-partisan system is old and ineffective, Americans need "change", and the free market can do a better job than the government.
"Smaller parties," said Nader, "were always the first ones to raise the issues of social justice, and only later their findings were used by Republicans and Democrats."
"The free market always works," said Baldwin. He promised to "dismiss the Federal Reserve and to take away any government help from private companies." Nader agreed with the statement, evaluated as "risky" by the Gazeta.ru reporter. Nader added that he is delighted to see "the evident collapse of corporate capitalist ideology."
In general, Russian journalists report with more humor than their Western counterparts. The titles of the articles are funny (at least in Russian): "Veteran Still Holding Up," "Conversations About Putin's Eyes," "Overcharge in Insignificant Donations," "Crisis Hits the Republicans," "Plumber Joe Quarrel with the Candidates," "Bush Without Make Up," "Obama Threatened by Skinheads/Losers," etc.
The most widely-read Russian newspaper, Moskovsky Komsomolets, sent its reporters to Washington. They came back describing the candidates as the "Afro-American Obama" and "Post-Retiree McCain." The journalists ignored political correctness and compared the candidates to a "scarecrow in all dark" and a "ghost, white as a blanket." The MK correspondents also quoted Americans saying that it is dangerous to voice your opinion via a sticker on a bumper of your car. Whether one supports McCain or Obama, he risks having his car keyed or a windshield broken in certain areas (or here in Seattle, having a photo of your home and address published by The Stranger).