What does it take to become a successful presidential candidate in American politics?
- The difference between what happens in America and in France
- Topical issues that governments have to pronounce on.
- Important for a candidate to use different ways of communication
San Francisco, on November, 15th, at the Civic Auditorium: thousands of people are waiting on the pavement for Barack Obama, Democrat candidate for the investiture to the presidential elections. He arrives, stands up near his car, takes a megaphone to reassure people: ?don't worry, you will all enter the auditorium. And even if you don't, vote Obama!?. Inside, a big and empty stage. No desk, no written speech: the candidate is alone with six thousands of people cheering him.
His speech is short, not really technical, and proposes one solution to one problem. That was Obama's speech. But that scene is exactly the same in each political meeting. Straightaway, you can see the difference between what happens in America and in France: we are not used to such proximity, wee don't expect a candidate to joke about his origins or about anything else dealing with presidential campaign. These are two different political and social models, and a successful candidate in France doesn't have the same personality than an American one, they both need different assets.
There are many reasons for such differences: America is younger than France, and the weight of tradition looks less important. Then, America is much bigger than France, and US candidates don't have as many times as french ones to meet all the population. But these explications look more like details than like global explications. In my opinion, French and American candidates don't behave in the same way because of two reasons: the first one comes from the customs, the attitudes.
The second one deals with the institutional system, where workings are specific. Those two reasons constitute the two parts of my reflection. In each country, they are topical issues that governments have to pronounce on. For instance in India, they are castes. In countries of the Middle East, they are religions whereas in Africa they are development and bribery.
Tags: American politics, institutional system, global explications,