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Cablegate: Media Reaction: U.S. Midterm Elections, Rumsfeld's

VZCZCXYZ0012
OO RUEHWEB

DE RUEHSO #1183 3131144
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 091144Z NOV 06
FM AMCONSUL SAO PAULO
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 6039
INFO RHEHNSC/NATIONAL SECURITY COUNCIL WASHDC IMMEDIATE
RUEHBR/AMEMBASSY BRASILIA PRIORITY 7103
RUEHRI/AMCONSUL RIO DE JANEIRO PRIORITY 7574
RUCPDOC/USDOC WASHDC 2612

UNCLAS SAO PAULO 001183

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

STATE INR/R/MR; IIP/R/MR; WHA/PD

DEPT PASS USTR

USDOC 4322/MAC/OLAC/JAFEE

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: KMDR OPRC OIIP ETRD BR
SUBJECT: MEDIA REACTION: U.S. MIDTERM ELECTIONS, RUMSFELD'S
RESIGNATION; SAO PAULO


1. "Bush's Defeat"

Liberal, largest national circulation daily Folha de S. Paulo
editorialized (11/9): "The message sent by the ballots couldn't be
clearer: American voters are very unhappy with the prolonged
disaster produced by the Bush administration in Iraq and the series
of scandals involving Republican congressmen. The Bush
administration enjoys today only 35% of popular support mainly
because of the erosion in the Middle East. As a direct and immediate
consequence of the electoral defeat, Donald Rumsfeld, the
'architect' of the Iraqi quagmire, was fired yesterday.... The mid
term election' returns are much more a Republican defeat than a
Democratic victory.... If the democrats achieve the control of both
the House and the Senate, they may create enormous difficulties for
the Bush administration, especially in foreign trade. If they win
only in the House, their power will be limited. The greatest
importance of Tuesday's elections is in the fact that it was a
rehearsal for the 2008 presidential elections.... During the next
two years, the Democrats will try to take even more advantage of
Bush's popular rejection. The Republicans will review the causes
that led to the electoral defeat so as to try another term. Whoever
is more convincing in presenting a plan to leave Iraq will probably
be in an advantageous position."

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2. "Light At The End Of The Iraqi Tunnel"

An editorial in center-right O Estado de S. Paulo (11/9) remarked:
"Political disasters seldom have a sole cause, and what has just
happened with the Republican Party is a clear evidence of that. It
is a fact that the Bush administration's defeat in the midterm
elections is mainly due to the Iraq factor.... But two other grave
situations that cannot be underestimated were added to it. First,
the late but unequivocal repudiation by a large portion of the
voters to what the Republicans perpetrated in their recent 12-year
period of practically uninterrupted predominance in both the Senate
and the House.... The leaders of the administration's party
guaranteed to the current Congress the deplorable distinction of
being the most retrograde, corrupt, demoralized and submissive to
the White House that one can remember. The second additional reason
for the Republican defeat was the public condemnation of the
administration's total dominance of the domestic agenda.... It is
expected from the Democrats that they show how to switch on the
light at the end of the Iraqi tunnel. Incidentally, such a light
has already been lit with Donald Rumsfeld's resignation, the first
consequence of the Democratic victory."

3. "Bush And Brazil"

Political columnist Eliane Cantanhede wrote in liberal, largest
national circulation daily Folha de S. Paulo (11/9): "Since trade
logic does not always correspond to political positions, Brazil
wanted the Republicans to win the U.S midterm elections and was
already deploring their forecasted defeat. George W. Bush has his
own faults, but the Lula administration no longer wants to discuss
the invasion of Iraq, excesses in the security area, the fall of
Donald Rumsfeld.... What interested the GOB was a Bush strong enough
to resume well the WTO negotiations with developing agricultural
exporting nations like Brazil. Pragmatically, Brazil wanted Bush to
have defeated the Democrats and kept the majority in the Congress so
as to advance the negotiations. The GOB, especially the Lula
administration, has more ideological differences with the
Republicans, who are more conservative in politics and in their
relations with the world. But Brazil knows that the in the trade
area the Democrats are more protectionist: they fiercely defend
domestic interests, US companies and producers to the detriment of
partners. The discretely pro-Republicans Brazilian posture coincided
with that of many of its neighbors - obviously with the exceptions
of Venezuela and Bolivia - and that of the European Union."
McMullen

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