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President-Elect Barack Obama: The blogosphere reacts

Categories: Americas, Oceania, South Asia, Sub-Saharan Africa, Australia, Canada, Kenya, Nigeria, Pakistan, Sweden, United Kingdom, Democratic Party, Republican Party, Breaking News, Government & Politics, International Relations

Barack Obama has been elected as the forty-fourth President of the United States. The blogosphere reacts.

First up, Will from KABOBFest [1] let's the United States in on a little secret:

Barack HUSSEIN Obama is indeed an Arab-Muslims Socialist. Ha ha, viva la revulocion!

From Canada, Rebellious Arab Girl [2] looks highly on the new United States of America:

We finally have a hope now for a better future of this world. Thank you Americans for voting this year for a change! Us Canadians salute you.

Dissecting Left [3], living in Australia, is not so sanguine. In fact, in a post written before the election, he feels whoever wins will mark the death-knell for the United States:

No matter who wins Tuesday America is going to be a different country. When the sun rises on November 5, regardless of who the president-elect is, a more un-United States than has existed since the Civil War will wake to dispute the results of the disgusting campaign that has mercifully come to an end.

Whoever the losers, they will believe they were cheated, and will point fingers at those they believe responsible. Almost half the nation will view the winner as illegitimate, and will do everything in their power to undermine his authority as long as he's in the White House. With this animosity will come a new level of hatred between those of differing political persuasions like nothing our country has experienced in the modern era. Putting it bluntly, and without sounding too much like Rev. Jeremiah “G-d Damn America” Wright, there will be no such thing as Americans anymore.

Instead, there'll be Democrats and Republicans, Liberals and Conservatives, and encounters between the members of these groups will for years nay decades be at best unfriendly, and at worst quite hostile if not downright violent.

For obvious reasons, Kenyans have followed this election in unrivaled interest. The Kenyan Pundit [4] discusses what Obama will mean to the country.

Like most of the rest of the world, I’m hoping that I’m waking up to a moment in history. Beyond the sheer glee of an Obama victory, there’s just the awesomeness of having been around during what will be one for the record books. During my student days I remember being wistful at times when hearing about historic leaders and historic times, and now there’s an opportunity to live it. A lot of ink has been spilled over why Obama is popular globally and just how disappointed people will be because of high expectations – I think that’s missing the larger point. Will Obama under-deliver, probably yes. But when was the last time an individual (especially that young people can relate to) inspired THE WORLD to think that things could be different and better, and that there is such a thing as a non-crappy politician?

And for those (Kenyans) who are being derisive about Kenyans trying to “own” Obama. Bah! Yes, it’s unrealistic to think that his election will change U.S. policy practically as far as Kenya goes, but I don’t think there’s anything wrong with Kenyans going overboard with Obama-mania and what he represents for us.

Now if only we can translate our aspirations for him to our aspirations for Kenyan leaders! Would Barack Obama have made it as a Kenyan politican (or even African) – almost certainly not…we excel in trashing intellectual, ethical, different, individuals who want to participate in public service. In Obama’s own words, “…For as long as I live, I will never forget that in no other country on earth is my story even possible.” Lets work to change this people.

Staying with Africa and its diaspora for a moment, let's check in on OmoTaylor over at African Loft [5]:





At the PoliGazette site in the Netherlands, an open thread debated what significance Obama's race played in the election. First up, we have Marc [6]:

Well, it’s a historical event and a great moment when an African-American has been elected president of the U.S. There’s no denying that, and even if the basis for that election is more flash than substance, Barack Obama does give all Americans the opportunity to put our racial divide in our rear-view mirror. I hope that happens; I’d just prefer a more fiscally responsible individual make that happen.

From Interested [7]:

i guess, myself I could care less about the individuals race, although I can recognize the significance. What I generally liked about Obama was he comes across as seeming to be eager to do well.

Guess we’ll find out.

And Orson Buggeigh [6]:

Good luck, Mr. President Elect. I sincerely hope that Obama will be able to resist the pressure from his own party to turn left, and that he will, indeed, make good on his promise to be “all of America’s president.” That is not going to be easy, and the economic problems facing him are huge. Still, in some ways, while it’s easy to heap the praise on him at his hour of success, the real proof of his abilities will not be seen tonight, but in two years.

The Swedish Fisherman [8] provides an update on how the cultural and political elite of Sweden — along with the rest of the country — became fascinated with the U.S. election.

But while Swedes have a history of keeping an eye on US politics, Ljunggren said that the country has paid particularly close attention to the 2008 campaign for a variety of reasons.

“Swedes were very surprised when [John] Kerry lost in 2004, but they learned something from it,” he said, explaining that the experience taught people not to confuse expectations with reality when it comes to US politics.

In the intervening years the Swedish press and Swedes in general have worked hard at becoming better educated about what drives US politics, [political commentator Stig-Björn] Ljunggren said, with the 2008 election being something of a final exam for what they’ve learned.

“This time it won’t only be Swedes who are surprised if Obama loses, as everyone I talk to here in the US also expects him to win,” said Ljunggren.

“There are echoes of Kennedy…people are seeing the dawn of a new era,” he added.

Zack, originally from Pakistan, writes for the Procrastination [9] blog, and volunteered at the Obama campaign in Georgia. Here are a few of his dispatches from Election Night:

8:35am: I am at the staging location in South Atlanta. Already at one of the polling places here, the line is more than 2 hours long.

10:39am: The morning rush at the polls has lessened now.

11:51am: Sent out volunteers to go knock on doors to get people out to vote. Also, sent phone lists to volunteers to call.

12:55pm: There are so many people here to volunteer, it’s difficult to even find work for them.

9:25pm: With Ohio projected as an Obama win by NBC and Fox News, I now project Barack Obama as the next President of the United States. Go Obama!

9:47pm: I didn’t blog it but told my fellow volunteers on the Obama campaign that Obama will net around 350 electoral votes and he looks on track for that.

9:59pm: I have been watching CNN since coming home. Now I am switching to Comedy Central’s Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert special.

11:00pm: Polls close on the West Coast and it’s official. President-elect Barack Obama!

11:32pm: A very nice concession speech by McCain, despite some booing from the crowd.

Here's an interesting post from our very own Kevin Rennie, who runs the Labor View from Bayside [10] blog, based out of Australia.

One of our TV presenters has just suggested that there was a fair bit of evangelical fervour about Barack Obama's victory speech. What really impressed me was that he didn't rev up the crowd. He chose not to join their attempts to turn the slogan “Yes We Can” into a mindless chant. He challenged them with ideas not theatre. His performance was controlled and rational. He is the teacher not the preacher.

Finally, England For Obama [11] had this tribute of the long, hard road to the White House:

Its been one hell of a show, I can’t quite believe its finally over.

When I started this site back in February I had no real belief that Obama would make it this far. He was the underdog and Clinton was a shoe in for the Democratic nomination.

The best I hoped for at the time was maybe a VP nomination. At very least I wanted to help give more airtime to someone I saw as an inspirational figure that the world just had to see to believe.

Some will say the campaign was too long, but it wasn’t long enough.

As John McCain might say, my friends, democracy works.