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How "The One" won ...

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Robin Lustig | 14:39 UK time, Wednesday, 5 November 2008

I'm sorry, I can't resist the temptation: I told you so.

To me, Barack Obama has looked like a winner for several months, not so much because of his policies, but because of his cool, his poise, and his hugely impressive campaign organisation.

But let's not get carried away. He won just over half the popular vote, and the result - victorious though he was - was not a walk-over. Nearly half of the Americans who voted yesterday chose his rival, John McCain, who last night made one of the most gracious concession speeches that I have ever heard.

Over the past few hours, I've spoken to the President of Liberia, the French foreign minister, the Russian ambassador to London and many, many others. Each one of them welcomed his victory, and each for the same, unspoken reason: He is not George Bush.

Here in Washington, there have been remarkable scenes of jubilation in bars and out on the streets. And it's been the same picture in many other American towns and cities, particularly those with large concentrations of young voters or black voters. To them, Barack Obama represents a genuinely new beginning. He will find it hard not to disappoint them.

To me, though, the moment I'll remember is when I asked the French foreign minister, Bernard Kouchner, if he could imagine French voters choosing someone from a minority community as their President. There was a long, long pause before he finally said: "I hope so, one day. But perhaps not yet."

Comments

  • 1. At 4:49pm on 05 Nov 2008, Xie_Ming wrote:

    "To them, Barack Obama represents a genuinely new beginning. He will find it hard not to disappoint them."

    Exactly. Thirty-eight percent of the exit polled supported Palin. Fifty-one percent of the popular vote is weak.

    The dark cloud of primitive, indoctrinated evangelicals and their amoral exploiters remain in position to negate efforts to change America or further it down the miserable path of Bush/Cheney et al.

    Perhaps Europe, if not Britain, could organize to form a World leadership that collaborated with, but did not depend on, the USA?

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  • 2. At 5:13pm on 05 Nov 2008, John_from_Hendon wrote:

    Robin,

    "...for the same, unspoken reason: He is not George Bush."

    I do hope we are all right about not being George Bush. I still fear that the momentum of the Bush years will drag on for far longer than the World all like.

    It may take years to extricate the USA from Iraq.

    It will take years to 'fix' the economy, perhaps not even by the end of a second term.

    The Palestinian problem is still a gaping wound.

    What of the situation in Africa - how can the people of the World sleep easily when a 13 year old girl who had been raped is stoned to death for adultery - the 50 men who did this and the nurses who checked she was dead committed a crime against humanity.

    The Congo situation is appalling. Myanmar, Sudan, Afghanistan etc. etc. Oh and he and better empty Guantánamo Bay post haste.

    I just look forward to 2012 when Barack Obama stands for a second term and I just hope that he has achieved half of what he has promised.

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  • 3. At 8:44pm on 05 Nov 2008, straightchris wrote:

    Dennis Kucinich was disenfranchised from the Democrat debate not to mention the third party candidates of Ralph Nader and Cynthia McKinney who had negligible coverage.

    Obama, so what.

    Death penalty, coal and nuclear fuel, Israel...

    I don't care about what people are saying in bars give us the news.

    No here's the really bad news.

    The current financial crisis is too complicated for anyone to understand, is that's the BBC line?

    What happened to the value of the $US? One day it was toilet paper suddenly it's the currency of choice again, anything to do with the mass selling of gold as it was one of the few commodities that could be sold?

    There is $500 trillion in estimated derivatives against $3 trillion of above ground gold, the world's alternative currency, what's going to happen when the COREX gets bought up by, say the Russians, what then?

    Robin, do you job instead of waffling.

    Re: Congo, it has nothing to do with funding from Rwanda and everything to do with Sony, Barclays Bank, Anglo American & De Beers doing business with paramilitaries who control the resources.

    5.4 million dead.

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  • 4. At 01:51am on 06 Nov 2008, ChristaB wrote:

    I'm in DC, and last night was awesome. This city exploded! I loved it.

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  • 5. At 06:26am on 06 Nov 2008, straightchris wrote:

    Mistake comment 3 above should read COMEX.

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  • 6. At 9:57pm on 06 Nov 2008, Pharbin77 wrote:

    You want a topic of discussion for the 7th? How about this …

    I have just heard and am looking into a story that, on the campus of Baylor University in Waco Texas, that there was a noose placed in a tree and people were burning Obama signs. Baylor University, renowned for it’s religious backbone and it’s academics. A place where people go to better their minds, which costs approximately $26,000.00 u.s.d. a year to attend … and apparently, white and black students were in a stand-off or a fight of some sort.

    You want my crazy spin, I called my wife and said, call your mother and father in Germany and let them know that on short notice we could possibly be coming to live.
    If this underline hate of the past somehow manages to take this man’s life, my hope for this country will be gone, and I will leave it before it consumes itself.

    http://www.kxxv.com/Global/story.asp?S=9299373&nav=menu509_2_1

    The above is the local news posted story.

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  • 7. At 02:03am on 07 Nov 2008, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    While every thinking American wishes President elect Obama well and hopes his administration will bring peace and prosperity to our land, the signs are ominous. This seems like a conspiracy of Hollywood fantasy, Chicago corruption, and Boston elitism against the miserable failure of politically bankrupt Washington DC. When you take his real achievements into consideration and what he'll be up against, this seems like a script for a move called "Mickey Mouse and his friends go to Mars" about how they built and flew a rocket ship all by themselves. The world is financially bankrupt, we are in two wars with others looming, global warming is destroying the environment but stopping it will cost money we just don't have and now look who's the leader of the club that's made for you and me. Annette Funicello, where are you when we need you? He even looks a little like Mickey Mouse with those big ears of his :-) I wonder if he can wiggle them.

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