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January 15, 2006

Conan O'Brien May Swing Finland Elections

Better than Jon Stewart, I suppose:

Finland's president finds her traditional support among women and the Social Democratic Party base, but lately to the surprise of many Finns _ and her opponents in Sunday's election _ she has gotten an endorsement of a different sort.

The redheaded late-night talk show host Conan O'Brien has been promoting President Tarja Halonen's re-election bid as part of a long- running joke about their supposed physical similarities.

"Why do I support Tarja Halonen? Because she's got the total package: a dynamic personality, a quick mind, and most importantly _ my good looks," the comedian, whose show is broadcast on cable in Finland, said in a statement to The Associated Press.

...

"Late Night with Conan O'Brien" airs five days a week on SUBTV, a Finnish cable channel, with a few days' delay. Every time he mentions Finland or Halonen, local tabloids report it prominently.

The Halonen camp is laughing all the way to the polls.

"Of course, when she is mentioned so many times it's positive for our campaign," said Halonen's campaign manager, Markku Jaaskelainen.

...

Halonen's opponents are not amused.

"He's just making fun of the whole election," said Harri Jaskari, campaign manager for former Finance Minister Sauli Niinisto. "If this decides the election, then we're in trouble. It gives a very poor picture of Finnish democracy."


America

We used to interfere in countries' politics for oil, money, or power. Now we just do it for shits and giggles.


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