NBC: Europe Wants 'Change' in America, Hillary Too Much Like Bush

On Friday's NBC Nightly News, correspondent Jim Maceda reported that Europeans have an unusually high interest in this year's presidential election as "they say they'd be very happy with anyone who makes a clean break with the past eight years. In a word, change." Maceda also suggested that Hillary Clinton reminds some of President Bush because of her "talking tough on Iran and terrorism." Notably, while liberals have long criticized Bush for his "You're either with us or against us" line after the September 11th attacks, according to USA Today, Senator Clinton, a week before Bush's speech, used similar words as she argued that Bush should articulate "to every nation in this world, you're either with us or you're not, and there will be consequences." And, appearing on the CBS Evening News the same day, she spoke approvingly of Bush's plan to "make it clear that every nation has to either be with us or against us." (Partial audio available here.)

As Maceda began his story about world interest in the presidential election, he contended that America's allies in Europe were most interested, relaying that in Europe, "Republican candidates are being bunched together with the Bush administration and blamed for the war in Iraq."

Then came a soundbite of a German student named Frank associating Republicans with "neoconservative policies." Frank: "The Republicans and the candidates that are out there just are being perceived as a continuation of neoconservative policies."

Maceda then relayed European fascination with Senators Clinton and Barack Obama because they are "historic choices," and cited the newfound popularity of Christoph von Marschall's book "Barack Obama: The Black Kennedy."

The NBC correspondent then contended that Senator Clinton is admired by some because she "talks tough on Iran and terrorism," but that others "say they hear a voice from the past." Then came a soundbite of Robin Niblett of Chatham House, who complained that Clinton "still sounds like a defensive American, whereas Obama looks like somebody who's more positive."

Notably, while critics of the war on terrorism have complained about President Bush's "You're either with us or against us" line from his speech declaring war against al-Qaeda and the Taliban on September 20, 2001, Senator Clinton had already made similar comments a week earlier.

Quoting the September 13, 2001, USA Today: "Some lawmakers called for a swift military response. 'I believe this is an act of war,' said Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison, R-Texas. 'I do not believe we should be seeking an indictment. We should be seeking the moral authority of certainty, and then retaliation.' Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton, D-N.Y., said the government should make it clear 'to every nation in this world, you're either with us or you're not, and there will be consequences.'"

Appearing on the CBS Evening News with Dan Rather on September 13, 2001, Clinton described her meeting with President Bush regarding the planned response to the September 11 attacks, and approvingly spoke of the President's intent to "make it clear that every nation has to either be with us or against us." Clinton: "We then went into a larger meeting where the President expressed his resolute determination to follow through on the following up of the perpetrators, finding where they are, bringing them to reckoning and to make it clear that every nation has to either be with us or against us. Those who harbor terrorists or who finance them are going to pay a price."

Returning to Maceda's story, the NBC correspondent concluded by contending that Europeans "want a clean break with the past eight years." Maceda: "Europeans seem to share one fundamental choice: they say they'd be very happy with anyone who makes a clean break with the past eight years. In a word, change."

Below is a complete transcript of Maceda's story from the Friday January 11 NBC Nightly News:

BRIAN WILLIAMS: Now to one of the big changes this presidential campaign year. It has to do with who's watching us. When we sat down for an interview with John McCain in Iowa right before the caucuses and our microphone failed to work, we were offered a loaner by a Swedish television news crew that was covering the McCain campaign in Iowa. There is huge interest in our election overseas, especially in Europe. Our report tonight from NBC's Jim Maceda in Berlin.

JIM MACEDA: From caucus to primary, each stop is flooded with interested observers. Foreign reporters covering every twist in an election that's rarely created more excitement abroad.

NICOLE BACHARON, French-United States Affairs Analyst: They feel the American president is going to have a big impact on their lives and on the life of everybody on this planet.

MACEDA: None more so perhaps than on America's closest allies in Europe. Here, Republican candidates are being bunched together with the Bush administration and blamed for the war in Iraq, even by these German students of U.S. politics like Frank.

FRANK: The Republicans and the candidates that are out there just are being perceived as a continuation of neoconservative policies.

MACEDA: The real buzz, they say, is over the showdown between Obama and Hillary Clinton, both seen here as historic choices by America. In Germany, Obama's Iowa victory triggered an avalanche of copy. Last month, author Christoph von Marschall couldn't give away his book entitled, "Barack Obama: The Black Kennedy." Now bookstores in Berlin are mostly sold out.

JOHN F. KENNEDY, dated June 26, 1963: As a free man, I take pride in the words "Ich bin ein Berliner."

CHRISTOPH VON MARSCHALL: Barack Obama has, in the same way as JFK had, this feelings that a young guy is coming there, a new generation, something new in style.

MACEDA: Others say they prefer Clinton's substance, that she talks tough on Iran and terrorism. But despite her win in New Hampshire, her critics overseas say they hear a voice from the past.

ROBIN NIBLETT, Chatham House: Hillary Clinton
still sounds like a defensive American, whereas Obama looks like somebody who's more positive.

MACEDA: Obama may be hot, Hillary popular, and others like Huckabee just unknown. But Europeans seem to share one fundamental choice: they say they'd be very happy with anyone who makes a clean break with the past eight years. In a word, change. Jim Maceda, NBC News,
Berlin.