American Presidential Elections: postscript

29th November, 2012

“The office of President of the USA is too important to leave it up to Americans, the whole world should be given a vote”, I heard said whilst I was in the USA for the elections.  Such was the fear that Romney might get elected.

We now know that Obama won and resoundingly, yet even up to the counting of votes the mood in New York was apprehensive.

People I spoke  to in Democracy Plaza (renamed for the day)
were really concerned that Romney might win. This wasn’t just that their man and his team would lose, it was a fear of what Romney winning would mean for them, their families and friends.

Contrast this with the view from Indiana where I was the week before. Obama stickers were as rare as Tory councillors in Leicester. I have already commented on the extreme and strange media coverage and the radio rantings of Rush Limbaugh have to be heard to be believed. No I am not going to put a link in as I don’t want to inflict him on anyone. With this and the TV coverage its surprising that Obama was ever elected in the first place.


This photo show the GE building in Rockefeller Plaza. The Democrat’s blue silk has just over taken the Republican red. to get to the magic 270, the number of electoral college votes needed for Obama to win. These were hauled up by men in window cleaning cradles.


It was great to be in New York for the announcement just after midnight and the mood was joyous, with much relief, cheering, backslapping and all round good humour. Given this was just a few days after the devastation of hurricane Sandy it was quite something,

Perhaps most telling was the surge of young people and Hispanic and black citizens at the polls. I think that the Republican’s  attempts to limit access to voting may have backfired, inspiring non-traditional voters to come out. In critical swing states, people stood in line for hours and hours to vote. Some broadcasters were telling people they had until Nov 8th to vote, 2 days after the polls closed. This interference with the ability to cast your vote is a terrible problem for a democracy that has to be remedied by the next election, but graphic proof that people cared.

Americans’ validation of Obama’s leadership erases the idea that 2008 was a fluke and that all his opponents had to do was hunker down and let voters toss him out. The nation is divided, but the division is pretty even. Clearly many Americans value health care reform, investment in the economy and fairness to the middle income Americans whose buying power fuels it. They also see through the likes of Romney who attacks China for destroying American jobs, at the same time as one of his own companies is outsourcing jobs to China.

It was good to be able to got to the Washington DC a few days later and see the preparations being made outside the Whitehouse for the Inaugural address.


Yes that’s me seeing what its like to be President. The closest I’ll ever get!

Back to page top

Leave a comment

Your name is required
Your email is required

Your email will not be published

A comment is required

Please fill out the form in full


Please correct the errors as indicated