The Russian government has stated it’s willing to work with anyone, but doctoral student Diana Sokolova said it favors Republican candidate Donald Trump. A recent poll showed about 40 percent preferred the Republican candidate as opposed to 10 percent for Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton, Sokolova said.
“Of course they prefer Trump because he’s been the one who was vocal about establishing good relations with Russia,” Sokolova said.
Sokolova shared her home country’s perspective as a part of “Election Night Central” on Tuesday in the Franklin Hall commons, an event put on by the Media School and the Department of Political Science. While the big screen aired several different media outlets covering the election, three panels commenced in the lobby to entice political discussion.
The second panel, in which Sokolova spoke, shared international perspectives on the presidential election and its candidates.
Sokolova talked about how she visited Russia in the summer for her studies and discovered her own cousin was pro-Trump.
“This is the reality of Russia today, and the reality is that they want Trump to win,” Sokolova said.
Sokolova said Russia feels they could control Trump like a puppet in the White House.
“Russia probably believes that they could manipulate Trump, and they feel that Trump doesn’t really understand the political system,” Sokolova said. “They will definitely lose international presence and dominance, especially the Middle East, if Hillary Clinton becomes president.”
France, in contrast, is more supportive of Clinton, assistant professor Julien Mailland said.
“From a French perspective in general, we look at Obama and Clinton as almost these kind of like idealistic people,” Mailland said.
Mailland said many people in France were excited about President Obama being elected in 2008 because he was the first black president but also because they were ready for someone other than former president George W. Bush. In this election, it seems France again prefers the Democratic candidate partly because Clinton would be the first female president.
“I feel that people now in France are saying Hillary is kind of like this saint, almost,” Mailland said.
He talked about the regulated media coverage in France and compared it to American media coverage.
“I think there’s a really big discrepancy about how the French people perceive these candidates and the fact that these candidates are much more complex than they appear,” Mailland said.
In Italy, there has also been a lot of enthusiasm for Obama and recently Clinton, doctoral student Umberto Famulari said. The Italian press released a poll Tuesday that showed 77 percent of Italian people would vote for Clinton, Famulari said.
“I had the feeling she was quite popular when she was secretary of state, for example, a couple of years ago,” Famulari said.
Argentina has even more Clinton support, with 86 percent of people stating they would vote for Clinton, political analyst Sergio Berensztein said. Berensztein said the Argentine president Mauricio Macri does not have a good relation with Trump. He shared a story about Marci starting a project in New York. When it failed, Macri sold out to Trump. The negotiation did not work out in Macri’s favor and his family lost a lot of money in the deal, Berensztein said.
“The relationship is not going to be nice if Trump wins,” Berensztein said.
Mailland said France is not as interested in most American political affairs as the presidential election. The main reason for this is because of its importance in relations.
“The president is the face of America,” Mailland said.
Two other panels that night covered other political topics having to do with the media, with the first focusing on the media’s coverage of the election and the second relating the ethics and norms of political journalism. The first panel featured individuals such as associate professor Julia Fox and assistant professor Bernard Fraga. The second panel included assistant professor Nick Browning and professor of practice Elaine Monaghan, who moderated the second panel.