The 10 best global front pages on the U.S. election

Checking out how presidential elections play on the front pages of U.S. newspapers -- and stowing away those papers for posterity -- is a favorite pastime of American politics (and a reminder of why some news is still best conveyed in old-fashioned newsprint). But news outlets in other countries also produce some gems. Take the Venezuelan paper shown above, which has the president roaring over the headline, "Obama: I won!"

Courtesy of the Newseum and other sources, here are 10 front pages today from around the world that you won't want to miss. Below, Belgium's De Standaard splices the faces of Obama and Mitt Romney together to highlight America's partisan divisions, under the headline, "The Torn Country" (a Czech paper mashed up the candidates' faces as well -- and the result is significantly more disturbing). 

Newseum/De Standaard

Here's some fodder for American declinists. The Danish newspaper Politiken notes that the United States elected a new president but asks whether China's heir apparent Xi Jinping is the "world's new leader."


Feeling a bit disoriented from a long night of watching election results? Lebanon's Daily Star captures the feeling well:

Newseum/The Daily Star

The French love Barack Obama, and the country's Libération sums up the sentiment in just one word:


In a review of the steep economic challenges facing the next U.S. president, Austria's Die Presse asks a simple question: "And what now, Mr. President?"

Newseum/Die Presse

The Jamaica Observer wins the award for the most unflattering picture of a triumphant Obama:

Newseum/Daily Observer

Germany's Die Welt leads with a think piece entitled "What A Great Country" that criticizes Europeans for indulging in "premature schadenfreude" about America's decline as a superpower, and argues that the United States is still a "land of opportunity."

Newseum/Die Welt

Wondering how Obama is feeling after his resounding victory? Canada's Calgary Sun suggests he may have some swagger in his step:

Newseum/Calgary Sun

Britain's the Guardian arguably has the most artistic front page (oddly enough, and perhaps in an effort to make Obama look particularly formidable, papers in Panama and Spain also show Obama's breath lingering in the cold air) :

The Guardian

India's Deccan Chronicle made some odd artistic choices in framing the race on Election Day. Why the photograph of Obama speaking alongside an awkward picture of Mitt and Ann Romney kissing?

Newseum/Deccan Chronicle



Should we be making room for a new star on the flag?

In one of the less-noticed results last night, voters in Puerto Rico for the first time overwhelmingly voted in favor of becoming a U.S. state. 

With 243 of 1,643 precincts reporting late Tuesday, 75,188 voters, or 53 percent, said they did not want to continue under the current political status. Forty-seven percent, or 67,304 voters, supported the status quo.

On the second question, 65 percent favored statehood, followed by 31 percent for sovereign free association and 4 percent for independence.

President Obama has pledged to respect the results of the referendum (as, for what it's worth, did Mitt Romney), but of course Congress must approve the addition of any new states to the Union. Though only a simple majority is needed, that can be difficult to come by as we residents of Washington D.C. have learned over the years.

The conventional wisdom is that Puerto Rico would -- like D.C. -- be a solid blue state, making Republican senators unlikely to support it. But history shows, that a new state's future political trajectory can be difficult to predict. When the last two states were admitted, it was widely assumed that Hawaii would lean Republican and Alaska would lean Democrat -- multicultural Hawaii was opposed in particular by pro-segregation southern Democrats. John F. Kennedy won the Aloha State by just 115 votes in 1960. Last night, Obama took the state where he was born with 70 percent of the vote while Sarah Palin's state went 55 percent for Romney.

There is some reason to think Puerto Rican statehood wouldn't necessarily be a slam dunk for Democrats. Puerto Rican politics don't break down along strict Republican-Democrat lines, but many members of the pro-statehood New Progressive Party lean to the right, including current governor Luis Fortuno, who was a staunch Romney backer and a featured speaker at the Republican National Convention. It's not entirely out of the question that the GOP could make a play for the new state.

Making the statehood qusetion more complicated is the fact that Fortuno lost his election to Alejandro Garcia Padilla of the anti-statehood Popular Democratic Party. It's not yet clear exactly how the debate will play out in the wake of the referendum and victories by Padilla and Obama, but if D.C.'s experience is any guide, it could take a while.