0028: I am following this, now, at midnight, from now on. Whether I will stay up until 5am remains to be seen, but it’s nailbiting stuff. Currently 8-3 to McCain…
0202: 175-61 to Obama. McCain: “We’ve had a great ride, we’ve had a great experience and it’s full of memories that we will always treasure” – is he worried now? Certainly sounds like it. Apparently there’s record young voter turn-out, too.
0214: Some people are regarding this as a done deal; 76-175 to Obama, with Wisconsin’s 10 electoral votes projectedly Obama’s too, putting him only 100 away from the Presidency.
0239: 200-124 to Obama. Looking so good right now. Going to get another G&T!
0354: The news is buzzing with the conviction that Obama has definitely won; it is being called a ‘historic moment’ and people are marvelling that they never thought ‘a black man would be elected…in my lifetime’. 207 to 141 Obama. California is yet to come in; Virginia has just gone to Obama.
0359: California’s just come in! It’s gone to Obama, the tally’s still climbing…297 to 145 to Obama: HE’S WON! It’s still, nominally at least, projected, but everyone knows. The first black man in the White House, 44th President…there you have it; as I think we all hoped. There’s just such a buzz in the air, the news is showing crowds in all sorts of places just cheering, it’s fantastic. Not really sure how much more I can say at 0408 whilst pretty drunk, but wow.
0417: Obama’s electoral vote count just rose again to 306. Doesn’t that count as a landslide? John McCain’s concession speech is just about to come on; he’s lost with 145 so far.
0420: Obama’s just taken two more states: 333 to 155! McCain’s speech talks a lot about the American Dream: the fact that Obama’s the first black president; that they both love and dream for their country, and the progress that America has made to allow it to elect a black President. Very sweet, it has to be said; very West Wing somehow; conciliatory, earnest, and full of goodwill. Very much unlike the personal attacks seen in the last few weeks of his campaign. I’ll leave you to question the sincerity of his speech. Weirdly, they’re all cheering very enthusiastically at the mention of Sarah Palin (oh, help). He’s been talking for ages now…incredibly longwinded man; but then, I guess, once he gets off that stage, that’s it. Keeps coming out with juicy soundbites, but then just keeps on rolling….
0431: ‘the most generous concession speech any man could wish to hear’ has ended. This is ‘the old John McCain’ who ‘inspired the respect of so many people on both sides’, who somehow ‘disappeared’ more recently – but who came back, silencing the boos of his disappointed supporters. Here is an old-fashioned, honourable, serving and proper gentleman. Meanwhile Bush just phoned Obama to congratulate him on his ‘awesome night’.
0438: 338 to 155, and a black woman being interviewed says, as many others have said to her, ‘we’re free at last’. The shadow of slavery is perhaps now finally being thrown off. A ‘new frontier, a new dawn for the world’.
0459: Obama’s just taken to the stage to make his first speech as President Elect, due to actually take up the position in January. “If there’s anyone out there who still doubts whether America is a place where all things are possible, tonight is your answer.” Power of democracy and the American Dream. I guess it was bound to happen really, that both speeches would both describe an America that isn’t quite like the real thing. It’s an historic election in troubled-seeming types – so of course it focuses on the idealistic. “Americans have sent a message to the world that we have never been a collection of individuals, we are and always will be the United States of America.” He adds: “It’s been a long time coming, but change has come to America.” And he even sends out the love to McCain: “McCain has endured sacrifices for America that most of us can never imagine, he is a brave and selfless leader”. Then he goes on to tell his daughters that they have “earned the new puppy that’s coming with us to the White House”, and continues to thank everyone and anyone involved, starting with family and friends, going through his campaign team. A giant shout-out, in true celebrity style, and finishing with the idea that “this victory belongs to you, the people”. And here is the results breakdown from the BBC, and the live-update election page too.
0516: He’s describing the changes in the lifetime of an 106-year-old woman from Alaska who was born at a time when she couldn’t vote because she was black and because she was a woman; all the things that have happened in that century, and more. Of ‘unyielding hope’, togetherness, change, and diversity, always repeating, ‘yes, we can’. A powerful speech which tries to reach out for all the people of America and the world. He’s good at this speech-making malarkey; let’s just hope he is as good when he finally becomes the true president. The ‘skinny kid with the funny name’ has won.
0522: This just appeared on the Live Update thread: “Ezra Klein, The American Prospect blog: September 11 has not disappeared from our memory, of course, but we have recovered from the blow. We have forgotten how it felt to be afraid, and so, yesterday, we forgot to vote our fears. And in doing, we have elected a black president with a Muslim name. Fear again proved but a temporary detour from our history’s long arc toward justice. Read more on The American Prospect.“. Klein also says that Obama’s candidacy also forces America to confront its fears and its lingering racism – and it certainly has done that. Makes me realise just how much of a problem racism still is in the US.
I really will stop posting now and go to bed, a happy bunny among millions. Someone said that Obama isn’t the best president to have from the UK’s perspective; I don’t know why. But I don’t believe that – for the world, I can’t really think of a better president right now. Only time will tell.