Germans Love David Hasselhoff/People

Everything About Fiction You Never Wanted to Know.
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  • Before and during the Cold War, Americans and their leaders were in love with the first lady of China, then Taiwan, American-educated Soong May-Ling, better known as Madame Chiang Kai-Shek (she and her husband were Time's "Man and Wife of the Year"). She was never quite as popular at home, being the wife of a brutal dictator.
  • US president Rutherford B. Hayes is rather obscure and unremarkable in American history, best known for his Badass Beard and the probability that he stole the election that brought him to office (hence the nickname "Rutherfraud"). However, he is a national hero in Paraguay, having served as an arbitrator after the War of the Triple Alliance in South America that had pitted Argentina, Brazil and Uruguay against them. Hayes' ruling in favor of Paraguay, allowing it to keep a large swath of disputed territory in the center of the country, forever immortalized him in the country's history as their savior. He has a city (Villa Hayes) and a department (Presidente Hayes) named after him, as well as many schools, roads, and even a soccer team.
  • Most Frenchmen have never heard of Frédéric Bastiat; his works are most popular with American libertarians and anarcho-capitalists.
    • The same may apply to his friend and contemporary, the Belgian economist Gustave de Molinari. (They were in the same philosophy club).
  • Saladin is one of the most celebrated military leaders of all time, as a chivalrous Muslim warrior, and a Magnificent Bastard by the Crusaders. Coincidentally, this lionization did not originate in the Middle East, but in Europe. Of course, his fellow Kurds also think highly of him, as he's a very well-known Kurd (who many probably didn't even know was Kurdish at all).
  • The friendship between Filipino national hero Jose Rizal and Austro-Hungarian writer Ferdinand Blumentritt is the stuff of legend here in the Philippines. In turn, Rizal is popular in Austria and Hungary. William Howard Taft's stint as Philippine Governor-General is also memorable here.
  • Voltaire the philosopher was very popular among the Russian aristocracy during the reign of Catherine the Great.


  • Mikhail Gorbachev is thought of in Western nations as a well respected statesman who ended the Soviet Union. In particular, he is practically a national hero in Germany for bringing down the Iron Curtain that went straight through the country. The Russian population has quite a different opinion of the man, seeing him as a weak leader who kept giving the West concessions and ended Russia as a superpower, and those who are nostalgic for Communism -- or even, in many cases, just democratic socialists -- positively HATE him. When he ran for president of The New Russia in 1996, Gorbachev won a grand total of 0.51% of votes. An Urban Legend has it that, during a meeting with voters, he was punched in the face.
    • Lampshaded in a Pizza Hut advert in Russia, where he and his grand-daughter walk into a namesake outlet. The patrons vividly debate his legacy, eventually concluding they're all eating at Pizza Hut because of him.
    • Of course, he ended the Soviet Union inadvertently.
    • Some Epileptic Trees think otherwise, especially Communist diehards.
  • Similarly, Tony Blair seems to be MUCH more popular in the US than he is in his native UK, where his decision to work closely with George W Bush in the invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq was met with wide condemnation by the British people, ultimately all but forcing him from office. He has even had to cancel recent public appearances in the UK to publicise his new autobiography due to the "hassle" caused by protesters, and his party are now trying to distance themselves from the Blair era as quickly as possible.
    • He's also very popular to this day in Sierra Leone due to his having (not enthusiastically initially) stopped a civil war there by sending the army in (the army were sent in on a limited mission but decided to intervene aggressively, Blair's role amounted to backing them once he found out about it). Seriously, they build statues to him, you won't find that in the UK.
  • George W. Bush is considerably more popular in Georgia (the country) than in the U.S., due to his pro-Georgian foreign policy and having danced to Georgian music once. Reportedly, he's even sometimes considered a bit of an Estrogen Brigade Bait in Georgia. Figure that one out.
    • He's also really popular in some parts of Africa for the understandable reason that he sent a ton of AIDS relief there.
    • Also in Kosovo and neighboring Albania for supporting Kosovan independence.
    • While his approval rating in America was around 30% during the last few years of his tenure, his approval rating in India stayed around 60%.
  • In a truly bizarre example, current Premier of Ontario, Dalton McGuinty. Often considered bland (or, to his opponents, "Premier Dad", due to his "nanny state" policies) in his home province of Ontario, he is considered "handsome and charismatic" in China. FTA:

"Who else is as good at working a Chinese room?" a Canadian businessman was asked during a luncheon in Nanjing. "Exactly," he replied, mistaking it for a rhetorical question.

    • In stark contrast, back home in Canada, several comedy shows have made fun of McGuinty's striking resemblance to Norman Bates.
    • He was also the unfortunate target of the famous "[[["Memes]]/Politics|evil reptilian kitten-eater from another planet"]" campaign, which he naturally milked for all it was worth.