Congratulations to President-Elect Obama!
I wouldn’t go as far as the US immigrant historian Simon Schama in saying that the election result wipes clean America’s original sin, but it is nonetheless monumental.
I’ve just finished sleeping off a bottle of scotch, and am gathering my thoughts about last night’s events, as witnessed through the lens of BBC television (in Washington DC) and its talking head guests from both sides of the Pond.
Given that I’m currently in no fit state to turn my thoughts into fluid prose, I’ll instead use something bordering on stream-of-consciousness, based on notes taken while watching the box.
The Dude (C Hitchens, Esq.) is rather uncomplimentary toward Sarah Palin.
John Bolton has a complete sense of humour failure. Shame. He may be a right-wing nutjob, but I’m quite fond of Bolton, and think he would make a fine Secretary-General of the United Nations. That he would probably be the last Secretary-General is neither here nor there.
Bolton slaps down BBC reporter Cathy ?, whose criticism of his views fell short of the mark.
Bolton: “You should fire that reporter [in Colorado]. That was outrageous.” Said reporter had the temerity to point out to a Republican strategist that the now blue state had voted Republican in nine out of last 10 presidential elections.
Bolton to Simon Schama: “Criticism of the US for being a racist nation will now stop. Right?” It bloody well should do. Europeans have nothing to crow about when it comes to racism.
Simon Schama calls David Dimbleby a “big wuss” for not calling the election for Obama with only half the results in.
American contributors’ bemusement with BBC continuity gaffs and English commentators’ general ignorance of American politics and culture.
David Dimbleby addresses very senior black US politician by his first name. Fail.
Jeremy Vine is a prat, as per usual.
D Dimbleby: “Iowa – eight pigs for every resident.”
Interviews with ordinary Americans rushed – you cannot expect these people to talk shite on the fly like professional commentators with much on-camera experience – it’s a rather insulting approach – I wish Studs Terkel were still around to cover the election.
BBC political editor Nick Robinson pictured tired and emotional outside 10 Downing Street, after having partaken at the US Embassy party.
US commentators thoughtful and gracious – sharp contrast with English talking heads – BBC reporters all over the place.
At 03:05 UTC, English comedian in New York City Eddie Izzard says something like “Slavery will disappear in half an hour.”
Republican commentator David Fromm wore (imitation) red poppy – very nice touch – contrast with English ignorance of American culture. Fromm fears that the Republican Party could end up representing the “white rural rump”.
Republican commentators had to put up with many stupid questions – dealt with them pretty well.
Obama-supporting white woman in Grant Park, Chicago, with her 35-40 year-old son, says “It’s a global economy now, and we have to start thinking in different ways.”
In his concession speech, the real, honourable John McCain returned – air-kissed but otherwise blanked Palin.
Gore Vidal’s comedy turn – William Rees-Mogg of the American Left – “I should be supreme leader of the universe, for I knoweth everything, and you, Mr Dimblebore, are a total pleb!”.
Obama: “To those who would tear the world down, we will defeat you.” We shall hold you to that promise, Mr President-Elect.
Salutations to the good people of the USA, Democrats and Republicans alike!
I shall now return to my bed. Later this evening we Brits shall burn some Catholics.