PARIS -- John Edwards, little known in Europe, still has early backing on the east side of the Atlantic among those who hope the North Carolina senator will help John Kerry unseat George Bush.
''Europe . . . will probably say this looks like strengthening the Kerry bid. Since Europe in general is so keen to see President Bush replaced, that looks like good news," said Michael Emerson of the Centre for European Policy Studies in Brussels.
Most Europeans know little about Edwards, a wealthy trial lawyer and freshman senator elected in 1998.
The confusion about Edwards showed when a television anchor on France's all-news channel, LCI, mistakenly reported that the Kerry-Edwards ticket left the South unrepresented.
But Edwards's background should be better understood once his crafted, youthful good looks are splashed across newspaper pages and television screens in Europe, where the deeply unpopular Bush is a constant media target.
But a Democratic victory in November would not automatically erase the strains in the trans-Atlantic relationship that surfaced before and during the US-led Iraq war, which nations including France and Germany vehemently opposed.