This is a sometimes 'cheesey' blog about British and American politics and anything else which tickles my fancy!
Thursday, 6 November 2008
Obama Seizes Victory!
Cometh the Hour, Cometh the man.
Change has finally come.
Barack Obama's stunning victory on Tuesday night has changed America and the world irrevocably.
It is a testament to his outstanding qualities as a leader and a testament to the American people for embracing change and hope, rather than the politics of fear.
I was lucky enough to watch the night unfold from the US Embassy in London. The atmosphere inside was electric. Obama supporters predominated, although the McCain contingent was sizeable too. Everyone was wearing campaign badges, bunting was dangling from the ceiling, there was a real carnival atmosphere. There was even a Starbucks, Subway and Burger King inside the Embassy! Lots of celebrities and lots of politicians mixed with political anoraks like me. It was great.
There were some spine-tingling moments from the night - like when you saw Jesse Jackson crying or Obama's girls ran on the stage at Chicago. That sort of took my breath away as you realised for the first time that actually the image of that family in the West Wing will be incredibly powerful.
In the end, Obama won an electoral college landslide and took a comfortable majority of the popular vote.
6 million more African Americans voted Democrat than they did last time.
3.5 million more under 30's voted Democrat than they did last time.
These are the beginnings of a new electoral alignment in American politics.
People feel it is their victory. They are energised and engaged.
McCain made a gracious and moving concession speech, characteristic of the dignity that has always been a feature of his personality and politics. He is a good man but he wasn't right for now.
Obama made a brilliant speech. Uplifting, powerful and strong. Perfect.
His greatest problem now is how to manage expectations. He is not a miracle worker and the problems facing America are daunting. It is a difficult task but I believe he has shown he has the qualities necessary for the challenges ahead.
The whole night reminded me of the void we have in British politics though. Where is our Obama?
Ouside the White House, crowds had gathered and were apparently chanting "goodbye, goodbye". Brilliant.