STILL on US politics, who could forget the only good part of the 1988 presidential election when the Democratic vice-presidential candidate, Senator Lloyd Bentsen, slapped down wee Dan Quayle for trying to compare himself with JFK.
Now it looks like David Cameron’s trying to do the same with Obama. This from Conservative Home: “David Cameron: Barack Obama is the first of a new generation of leaders who will deliver change”.
Oh dearie me. You are many things, Dave, but you’re no Barack Obama (thank godness).
I DON’T seem to have anything to read at the moment, so I went into Waterstone’s half an hour ago and bought “Dreams From My Father” by Barack Obama. Thought it might be appropriate to read it right now.
And David Cairns just texted me: “First Austin, now Obama. Can you send me the lottery numbers you won’t be picking this week?”
WELCOME to the Oval Office, President Obama.
So, I was wrong. You can hardly blame me for being pessimistic.
As I write, a CNN analysis is concluding that in the best case scenario for McCain, he won’t be able to reach 270 electoral college votes.
Amazing. Astonishing. Quite genuinely, tonight has restored my faith in the good sense and judgment of the American people.
And consider what’s been achieved: he’ll be the first president to have gone straight from the Senate to the White House since Kennedy in 1961; he’ll also be the first northern Democrat to win the presidency since JFK. After Kerry’s defeat in 2004, received wisdom was that the Democrats could only win again with a southern candidate. That a northern senator has done it would be remarkable enough; add the fact that he’s black and you feel you need to pinch yourself.
Obama has rewritten the rules of American politics, and this is a very exciting time for the world.
Now… who wants to place a bet on how soon the Republicans will call for President Obama’s impeachment?
EIGHT years ago Carolyn and I were fortunate enough to be invited to the Democrat election night party at the Mayflower Hotel in Washington, DC.
When Florida was called for Gore, I shared the large crowds elation. When the networks changed their mind and put the state back into Bush’s column, I got depressed and went to bed, assuming the worst. Expecting to hear the confirmed result when I woke up, I was astounded to hear about events unfolding in Florida.
Naturally, we had expected to know who had won the election by the next day, and certainly by the time we caught the plane home. But the drama of the 2000 US election was to continue for far longer than our holiday.
The drama of that time, and the anger and frustration I felt at the final outcome, came back to me this evening when I watched the excellent HBO TV movie, Recount. I thought it an appropriate thing to watch while waiting to go to the election night party being organised by Glasgow South Labour Party tonight at Queen’s Park FC.
Watching the film has not put me in a good or an optimistic mood. How could a nation with such a proud democratic tradition allow a presidential election to be effectively stolen? The cynicism and duplicity of the Republican establishment was truly dispiriting. For me, the bottom line was always that while the Democrats thought every vote should be counted, the Republicans didn’t. That should tell you everything you need to know about the Bush campaign in 2000.
What will tonight bring? I’m hoping for the best and preparing for the worst. Friends mock me because I refuse to allow myself to believe that Obama has it in the bag. But you never know. We won’t have to wait too long to find out. And I certainly hope we won’t have to wait as long as we did in 2000.
There will be alcohol served this evening, hence my decision not to do a live blog. Iain Dale looks like his coverage will be entertaining, so I’ll be logging on there.
Speak with you tomorrow, when we’ll be facing either a bright new tomorrow or Sarah Palin as vice-president elect.
SO, YOU’RE getting ready to enjoy a relaxed evening in. You’ve got your snacks, you’ve got your beer, you’ve got your comfy clothes and your comfy chair. Most important of all, you’ve got the TV remote control.
And then… 30 minutes of politics. On four of the major channels. With no breaks.
Now, for me, that would be fine. But I’m the first to accept, political types aren’t what most people would call “normal”. And being the pessimistic type, I worry that last night’s history-making political commercial might have cost Senator Obama more votes than he won.
But what do I know?
THANK you to Iain Dale for sending this very entertaining video. I didn’t even realise I had a vote…