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The truths they don't want you to read....

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

A new beginning

Barack ObamaAs expected, Barack Obama has been elected, by what appears to be a landslide for the Democrats.

I, for one, am delighted and I think that there is now an opportunity and desire for the US to rethink its role in the world and to consider the impact of its decisions on other countries.

True, that the election was largely policy lite, with largely irrelevant and trivial issues dominating campaigning (at least at this distance), but the desire to re-balance the economy and international relationships is very encouraging. The team around Obama appears strong and able and with cross-party backing for his Presidency there should be huge beneficial changes for the US and for the world.

(Let's not forget that many people had similar hopes for Tony Blair!)

The markets seem to like his election too, which indicates that his economic policies are expected to mitigate the worst of the credit crisis. This I am less sure about, but I'm not sure how it can get worse.

The oddest element of the transition is that he is not inaugurated until January, leaving two months where Dubya is nominally in charge but will have to consult/defer to the President Elect on all major issues. This will inevitably cause stasis, indecision and delay in moving matters forward. IIRC, this occurs as a legacy from the 19th Century, when the President Elect might need a week to get to Washington and then weeks to identify the post that need filling and then the post holders. In today's world, the Obama team is already vetted by the Secret Service and (virtually) all the posts will be filled by now, so the delay seems nonsensical.

I see that Alex Salmond has already claimed Obama as having Scots ancestry. Apparently, he is a descendant of William the Lion - but, why is no-one ever descended from third spear carrier?

A bright future and a bright hope seems to gleam in the West, but I think that the Secret Service are going to have to be ultra alert over the coming months and years to avoid it being snuffed out.


Anonymous said...

It's worth mentioning that it wasn't a landslide for Obama - less than 6% between him amd Mccain. A landslide for the Democrats though: they have a huge majority in the House and the Republicans are at their lowest in the Senate for a long time.

Anonymous said...

So glad I was there; suspect this city has woken up with a mass collective hangover this morning.

Ian said...

The popular vote, as Al Gore knows to his cost, isn't important. For how America chooses it's president 349-162 is a landslide.

Anonymous said...

Think you are correct re the later Angus. Bookies are giving good odds on him never actually getting to the White house by Jan 20th.

May well be a sound bet given the number of racially uptight Rednecks in the States.

Just think what would happen to world peace and share prices if that happens!

Anonymous said...

Apparently, he is a descendant of William the Lion

Where did he get that from?! Does that account for his mixed race?

Anonymous said...

oh the irony, that it takes a recession (world wide at that) to stop America voting with her wallet!

Anonymous said...

Alex Salmond didn't claim Barack Obama was Scottish - Obama himself claimed Scottish heritage earlier this year. The BBC quoted Salmond:

"He (Obama) was kind enough to send a message of support to Scotland earlier this year pointing out his own Scottish ancestry"

Not like Angus to let the facts get in the way of a sensationalist comment.

Anonymous said...

anon 8.40pm

Here's the full text of Obama's message of support for Tartan Day this year: "I am proud to recognize the tenth anniversary of the Senate's resolution commemorating Tartan Day. With millions of Americans of Scottish descent living throughout the country, it is important to celebrate the historic relationship between the United States and Scotland, and the great
contributions Scottish Americans have made. I wish you the best during this Scotland Week celebration."

Can Alex Salmond spin that into a ringing endorsement of his Government? YES HE CAN!