Rufus Gifford: US can learn from Danish elections

The US ambassador is feverishly following Thorning-Schmidt and Løkke’s struggle for power

Rufus Gifford, the United States ambassador to Denmark, played a central role in the presidential election campaign in 2008 that brought Barack Obama to the White House.

Today, he along with the rest of Denmark is feverishly following the red and blue blocs’ struggle for power, and he is quick to assert how impressed he is.

“It’s three weeks of intense campaigning. It’s very tense,” Gifford told Jyllands-Posten at Folkemødet on Bornholm last week.

Small similarities and big differences
He sees some similarities between the American and Danish election campaigns, particularly the commitment from youth parties.

However, the differences are also easy to spot.

“In the US, the parties stand much further apart than they do in Denmark,” he said, asserting that the political climate is far more civilized in Denmark.

“In Denmark, I could invite the party leaders to dinner at my dining room table, and they would sit there and discuss policy. If I did the same with the Democrats and Republicans back home, they would probably start throwing things at each other.”