Why Europeans Love Obama

By Beth Arnold
Der Spiegel (Germany)

French provocateur Bernard-Henri Lévy on how the left is being destroyed by tolerance — and the Europeans’ fascination with Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama.


"I don't love him ... I wish him to be elected."


Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama at a campaign rally in Fayetteville, North Carolina: “I don’t love him … I wish him to be elected.”


Since he began his career 35 years ago, self-described leftist, philosopher and journalist Bernard-Henri Lévy has never been caught without a cause or opinion. He has flamboyantly articulated these in more than 30 books (including the much discussed “American Vertigo”), countless television appearances, articles and even films that he’s written, produced, directed and/or narrated. Lévy is a kind of intellectual Robin Hood, going where there is totalitarianism and/or war. He has been a passionate advocate of Bosnia, smuggled himself into Darfur to report on the Sudanese genocide and followed the perilous trail of Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl into Pakistan to write the New York Times bestseller “Who Killed Daniel Pearl?”

Lévy is a showman — his narcissism is legendary — which adds fuel to the fire of his critics, who accuse him of lacking original ideas. Known in France as BHL, Lévy is his own wildly successful brand. He wears the mantle of polarizing intellectual quite happily along with made-to-measure clothing from French house Charvet, which also made shirts for JFK and Marcel Proust. He was recently quoted in the New York Times’ T Magazine men’s fall fashion supplement saying he had no interest in his bespoke apparel or even talking about it — though he had clearly agreed to this fashion profile, which was set in Bosnia, where he was screening two documentaries he had shot there and attending a children’s festival partly financed by his family foundation.

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