While I was flying around Italy, the airline provided us with complimentary newspapers. I grabbed one both days that I flew so that I could look like an Italian. At that point, Obama was still front-page news, along with a headline that said something to the effect of 'Berlusconi committs a gaffe against Obama' or something like that.
I don't know how big of a deal this was in the US, but the paper was the first mention of it I'd seen. Because the article I was reading was in Italian, I didn't quite get all of it, but I could see that the article quoted Berlusconi as having said basically that Obama was young, handsome, and bronzed ('abbronzato' or something like that).
Apparently this was a big deal because by saying this, Berlusconi suggested that a black man couldn't become president, or that the American people wouldn't elect anyone with skin that was more than tan. When I read American articles on the quote later, especially editorials, they seemed to portray the Italian people as supporting Berlusconi, but the article that I read listed other offensive or insensitve quotes he'd made. I sort of got the impression that the Italian people, or at least the more fairly liberal media, are rolling their eyes at Berlusconi and saying, "Not again," to themseleves.
I don't know, I just thought it was interesting. I still have the paper and will probably cut out the article.
I've got so much I've been meaning to write about- I hope I get around to some of it today.