U.S. Election Live Blog

I’m sitting in the Manning Bar at Sydney Uni – part of the US Studies Centre Live Election Party. I’ve been sitting here all morning studying for my NT exam but everyone thinks I’m Live Blogging the election. So I thought I should do some live blogging. Except, it won’t really be live because it will be a while until I get a chance to post to the interweb – but the thoughts are being recorded as they happen. Obama Wins at Manning Bar
This gathering at the Manning Bar is the largest election party happening in Australia right now – apparently we’ve got a live cross to CNN in the US to show just how excited we all are. We (Dave Irving and I) got here 1/2 hour before the doors opened (in fact, we camped out in front of the doors), so we’ve got the best seats in the house – a nice red-leather couch in the pit in front of the screen. The place is now so full that they’ve had to shut the doors. People keep taking photos of us – probably because we both have our Macbooks out and look like young political bloggers or something. Maybe we are icons of the new wave of youth in politics that is sweeping Obama to power? Shame we are both frauds then…

It’s mostly a Uni crowd: Democrat Supporting – I think there is one McCain supporter who gives a lonely cheer every so often.
It’s now 9:20 in the US – the polls have closed in all Eastern States.
CNN has called Pennsylvania for Obama – Florida is 50% counted: Obama 52% – Ohio tending strongly to Obama. It’s not too hard to call it from here. McCain needed to win Pennsylvania to have a chance. Obama is the US President. It will be a large win and there will be a large Congressional majority for the Democrats.
Is this election a Change?
No, it is just a very potent example of The Same. Good fun though.

Chatting with Dave, I realised that watching elections is a lot like watching Cricket – and I think I like both sports for the same reasons. Part of it is the utter over-analysis of the contest. There is intense scrutiny of every possible outcome – largely because, for long stretches of time, there is very little happening. Then there is the long drawn out nature of the struggle, the possibility of several reversals of fortune. Then, the almost certain knowledge of an outcome (like right now)
– They’ve called Ohio for Obama: McCain would have to win every possible Republican State from here on.
… the almost certain knowledge of the outcome, yet still the need to be there for the bitter end.

What will an Obama Presidency mean?
Not as much as the commentariat will make out of it in the week or so.

The announcement has been made 3pm Australian time. They waited for the polls to close in the Western States of the USA before declaring the election for Obama. McCain rang Obama to concede. He just spoke in Phoenix – a very good concession speech.
I’m always amazed at the ability of Americans to confuse their nation with the Kingdom of God. Incredibly dangerous really. This is one of the great dangers of Obama, and for Obama. People are very cruel to fallen idols.

It’s interesting to see the amount of emotion in this room here at Sydney Uni – there are well over 500 people here. Virtually all Democrat supporters. Cheering and embracing at the announcement, one person heckling while McCain spoke, although very quickly shut up. At least most people have the dignity to allow a gracious concession.
For the vast majority of the people here, they had no chance to vote, and the result will have only an indirect effect on their personal lives. Why was there such an outpouring of emotion? What do people think this will do for them? Is it because they are so young? Don’t have perspective? Idealism? When did I get so old that I would question that?

What matters:
A Black man as US president will have an immediate and positive impact on foreign relations – it will be particularly interesting to see the effect on Africa and the Middle East.

He will be an internationalist in a time when international co-operation is crucial (the environment) and under threat (the economic breakdown).

He will increase the power of the American federal government – a large number of people elected to the Congress will owe him their seat. He has won a significant majority of States.
The Political State is at all times the source of potential blessing and terrible danger, what will this lead to?

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