Obama Out, Trump In: What Does The International Press Say?

January 20, 2017 marks the day when Donald J. Trump became the 45th President of the United States of America. According to Politico, the controversial new President arrives at the White House with the lowest approval rating in the modern history of the US. Also, an opinion article in The Washington Post considers Trump’s cabinet as the worst in American history: “Donald Trump’s cabinet brings with it a combination of ethical problems, inexperience, hostility to the missions of the departments its members are being called to lead, and plain old ignorance that is simply unprecedented”.

But the main question remains: will Trump erase Obama’s legacy? On The New York Times opinion, “until Day 1, Trump is just a 70-year-old man with a twitchy Twitter account”, but he cannot “erase the mark of the man [Barack Obama] – a measured and rational president, a committed father and husband, who is leaving his country much better off, and the office without a trace of personal scandal”.

Let’s see how were the international reactions to Trump’s inauguration and take a look at the international press titles bellow.


Expresso points out Obama’s last press conference and its message for the national press and mass media: “America and democracy need you”. Público analyses Trump’s inaugural speech and highlights the new motto he launched as he promised to returns America to the people: “America First!”.


In two articles, El País stresses how white, rich and masculine is Trump’s government and discusses what we can expect from him during the next 72 hours in the White House. El Mundo focuses on the anti-Trump protests in Washington, where more than 200 people were arrested and an opinion article on El Financeiro refers how we will miss Barack Obama.


The French Le Monde comments on the new policies of the new President, focusing mainly on Obamacare and environmental policies. It also dedicates its editorial to the recent events in the US. Le Figaro refers to the several “Women’s March”, with thousands of people, scheduled for January 21, 2017 all over the world, and highlights the changes that Trump has already implemented.


On the international edition of Spiegel, an opinion article states that “protest is insufficient” when we talk about Trump’s political aspirations, and a second text mentions that a new world order has begun. Die Welt alerts for Donald Trump’ speech and how his message is dangerous for the world. Finally, the Zeit Online published an article about the oath of Trump, the Anti-Trump protests and the farewell of the Obama family.

United Kingdom

He’s already let America down”, says The Guardian in an allusion to Trump’s language on his speech. Another article on the same newspaper reminds us that Barack Obama will be around with the Obama Foundation. BBC News classifies Trump’ speech as “angry”, “authentic” and “primal” and that it is “unclear whether the president-elect actually wrote the speech himself, but the content was pure Trump: the same populist message that resonated throughout the primaries and the campaign”. An article from The Telegraph scrutinizes eight things we can learn from Trump’s inaugural speech.


“Pepper spray and stun grenades: Confrontation near Trump parade route escalates” starts the Calgary Sun, referring how Black Lives Matter and feminist groups were there to “made their voices heard”. Le Journal de Montreal has an article mentioning that while half of the Americans loves Donald Trump, the other half dislikes him, and also highlighting how the world outside USA is worried about the next four years. Le Soleil, from the Quebec, analyses Trump’s inaugural speech.


Mexican press doesn’t make any reference to the wall that Trump intends to build at Mexico’s expense. For example, La Prensa newspaper focuses on Obama’s last tweet, and El Universal highlights different opinions about the new President all over the world.


Last night, USA Today published an article mentioning the most recent developments in the Washington: Trump erased from the White House official website references to civil rights, gay issues, environmental rules, among others. Maybe we should read The New York Times text, saying that Trump gave us “American Carnage” and face it, once and for all. At least there is the letter Barack Obama left for the Americans (and, in the end, for all the world), where he made a promise: “I’ll be right there with you”. The next four years will be unpredictable, just like the new President of the United States, Donald J. Trump.


Barack Obama waves to the crowd prior to departing from the East side of the U.S. Capitol. Photo: U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Marianique Santos / Public Domain.

CC BY-NC-SA 4.0 This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

Mónica Canário

Research Assistant at CEI-IUL. Ph.D. Candidate in Political Science, specialisation in International Relations (ISCTE-IUL).

Leave a Reply