Danish leaders congratulate Obama on his re-election

Prominent politicians take to social media to nearly universally express their pleasure at the US president’s re-election

Following Barack Obama’s re-election early today, the nation’s political leaders wasted little time in publicly offering their congratulations. 


The prime minister, Helle Thorning-Schmidt (Socialdemokraterne), who was praised by Obama when the two met at the White House in February, returned the favour by calling the US president “an inspiring person with clear visions for the future”.


“I want to congratulate President Obama on his re-election,” the PM wrote on Facebook. “I look forward to continuing our close partnership. Particularly in times of crisis, we need visionary leaders who create social improvements, hold communities together and secure jobs and opportunities for many.”


Thorning-Schmidt’s predecessor, Lars Løkke Rasmussen (Venstre), also took to social media to express his delight at Obama’s victory.


“Huge congratulations to Barack Obama on his re-election,” the former PM wrote. “I have met and know Obama as a sincere, confident and dynamic leader with an eye for global challenge – both in regards to security policies and the economy. The world needs a strong and visible USA, and therefore I am personally happy that Barack Obama was re-elected.”


Rasmussen added that with the mandate of a re-election at his back, Obama would be strengthened to “engage in global issues” and work on creating optimism and growth, which Rasmussen characterised as “fundamental for establishing new jobs: American, European and Danish”.


The economy minister, Margrethe Vestager (Radikale), who is seen by many as Denmark’s reigning Twitter queen, took to social media to say she was “happy and relieved” by Obama’s victory and to “thank the American people” as well as to praise the president’s speech.


Ida Auken (Socialistisk Folkeparti), the environment minister, also expressed her congratulations to Obama via Twitter.


Despite Denmark’s overwhelming support of President Obama, as evidenced by recent polls that showed that as many as a whopping 96 percent of Danes preferred Obama over his republican challenger, Mitt Romney, not all of the nation’s prominent politicians were happy to see him have another four years in the Oval Office.


Rasmussen’s Venstre cohort, Søren Pind, was not as enthused as his party’s chairman about Obama’s victory.


“I would have voted for Romney,” Pind wrote on Facebook. “[Obama] has done rotten. But the symbol that he has become will carry him through. Personally, I am tired of symbolic politics. The US needs to get control of its economy. It will not happen with him.”


This isn’t the first time that Pind has attributed Obama’s success to his symbolic nature. In an op-ed from August, Pind lashed out at Denmark’s left-wing, arguing that it had abandoned many of its stated principles, such as the disavowal of torture, because too many Danish politicians viewed Obama as “a president who … could walk on water”.