As in most countries over the world, France held its breath during its “nuit amÃ©ricaine” and after a few hour's sleep - or no sleep at all - awoke in an unusual if transient mood of elation and happiness.
The much loved french satirical weekly Le Canard EnchaÃ®nÃ©, which appears Wednesdays, closed before election results, so they for once decided to trust the polls and took a winning bet on Obama, with headlines in their traditional pun-style: “America is no longer afraid of the Dark - Happy Hour”
The French support committees for Obama were of course overjoyed. France for Barack Obama blog, under the title Yes we did, wrote:
Un nouveau jour sâ€™ouvre pour les Etats-Unis et pour le Monde (…)
Depuis un an, tous ensemble nous nous sommes mobilisÃ©s pour soutenir cette candidature historique. Un an de travail, dâ€™implication, de dÃ©bats, de rencontres et dâ€™engagement pour arriver Ã ce jour, ce premier mercredi de novembre (…)
A new day opens up for the U.S. and the world (…) All together, we have been joining forces for a whole year, to support his historical running for election. A year of work, involvement, debates, meetings and commitment to get to this day, this first Wednesday of November (…)
The Barack Obama's friends in the city of Lyon website proclaims: “Overwhelming victory of Barack Obama, first Black President of the U.S” and proudly posts Obama's letter of thanks for their efforts:
Dear friends of Lyon's support committee–
I'm about to head to Grant Park to talk to everyone gathered there, but I wanted to write to you first.
We just made history.
And I don't want you to forget how we did it.
You made history every single day during this campaign — every day you knocked on doors, made a donation, or talked to your family, friends, and neighbors about why you believe it's time for change.
I want to thank all of you who gave your time, talent, and passion to this campaign.
We have a lot of work to do to get our country back on track, and I'll be in touch soon about what comes next.
But I want to be very clear about one thing…
All of this happened because of you.
Il y a des matins comme Ã§a….. ou on a juste envie de chanter.
There are mornings like that…when you just feel like singing
And indeed, he posts a video of “the huge, tremendous Marvin Gaye singing the US anthem, 1983.”
And Myloubook, “column of a young reader,” writes:
Congratulations, Senator Obama ! YES WE CAN” :
Je nâ€™ai jamais voulu parler politique sur ce blog mais je ne peux rÃ©sister au plaisir dâ€™afficher aujourdâ€™hui la photo du prochain PrÃ©sident des Etats-Unis (…) AprÃ¨s deux Ã©normes dÃ©sillusions, je suis aujourdâ€™hui trÃ¨s Ã©mue et extrÃªmement heureuse devant la victoire dÃ©mocrate et particuliÃ¨rement symbolique de Barack Obama.
“I never intended to talk about politics on this blog but I can't resist today posting the picture of the next President of the U.S. … After two huge disillusions, today I feel very excited and extremely happy at the democrat and specially symbolic victory of Barack Obama. I, who sincerely love the U.S., feel full of hope for this country (…)
Of course, the racial issue is in many minds: the ESJ (Ecole SupÃ©rieure de Journalisme) students blogging on the 20minutes website debate the topic “Is Obama black?”:
“Trop” noir pour les uns, “pas assez” noir pour les autres, la question de la couleur de peau d'Obama aura quelque peu pourri le dÃ©bat prÃ©sidentiel. Le camp rÃ©publicain, tout en se dÃ©fiant bien de tomber dans les attaques racistes, aura jouÃ© Ã fond la carte des “origines” du sÃ©nateur de l'Illinois. Et Barack Obama s'en est plutÃ´t bien tirÃ©.
Too black for some, and not black enough for others, the issue of Obama's skin color somehow spoiled the presidential debate. The Republican side, while defiantly lapsing into racist attacks, played thoroughly the card of the Illinois senators' “origins”. And Obama coped quite well with that.
The post then quotes and comments Barack Obama's autobiography, The Audacity of Hope.
Political analysts won't deny a good thing but already bring up the heavy tasks awaiting the next President.
Je suis belge mais je me soigne (”Im belgian, but I try to cure my self”), blogging at the “Monde” website, writes :
Les AmÃ©ricains ont enfin compris Ã une trÃ¨s large majoritÃ© que huit ans de bushisme, Ã§a suffit. Mais ne nous leurrons pas, le pays est toujours bien divisÃ© puisque la plupart des Etats du centre et du sud sont restÃ©s â€rougesâ€.
Lâ€™ampleur de cette victoire est nÃ©anmoins un signal fort du peuple amÃ©ricain, câ€™est un choix de sociÃ©tÃ© sans Ã©quivoque et sans aucune contestation possible. EspÃ©rons que Barack Obama ne dÃ©cevra pas et que sous sa tutelle les Etats-Unis redeviendront un partenaire loyal et constructif des EuropÃ©ens.
The American people at last realized in very big majority that 8 years of “Bushism” were enough. But we must not delude ourselves, the country remains divided, as most of the center and southern states remained “red.”
However, the sheer size of this victory is a strong signal by the American people, it is an unequivocal societal choice which bears no contesting. Let us hope that Barack Obama won't disappoint and that under his leadership the U.S. will turn again a fair and constructive partner to Europeans.
Nearer to the U.S., from Quebec, les 7 du QuÃ©bec writes, under the title: “America prefers Obama the centrist to the troublemaker McCain”:
(…)Ne nions pas la joie que nous Ã©prouvons Ã lâ€™idÃ©e de voir disparaÃ®tre une administration qui a marquÃ© les esprits de la pire opinion qui se puisse trouver sur cette planÃ¨te. Ne rejetons pas le plaisir que nous Ã©prouvons Ã la victoire de Barack Obama, plus un centriste quâ€™un homme de droite. Quoique â€¦ Ne soyons toutefois pas dupes. Cette victoire ne sera que de courte durÃ©e. Il faut Ã©viter de cÃ©der, Ã travers ce moment historique, au chant des sirÃ¨nes qui ne nous mÃ¨nera que vers des dÃ©ceptions et de grandes dÃ©sillusions.(…)
(…) Don't let us deny the joy we are feeling at the thought of seeing the removal of an administration that marked minds with the worst opinion to be found on this planet. Don't let us reject the pleasure we feel at Barack Obama's victory, more of a centrist than a right wing man. but then…don't let us be taken in. This victory will be short lived. Even in this historical moment, we must beware of listening to the sirena's song that is goind to lead us to disappointment and big disillusions. (…)
The post then thoroughly discusses Barack Obama's policies on all domestic and foreign issues awaiting the new President, and points out:
Barack Obama a beau Ãªtre adulÃ© de par le monde entier, il hÃ©rite dâ€™un pays en ruines. Les Ã‰tats-Unis sont endettÃ©s comme jamais auparavant et sont empÃªtrÃ©s dans des guerres sans issue Ã court terme.
However much adulated by the whole world, he inherits a ruined country. The U.S. is in debt like never before and are mixed up in wars that are dead ends in the short term.
And finally, the post lists the lobbies who supported Obama, commenting :
Ce qui contredit quelque peu lâ€™adage selon lequel, globalement, les rÃ©publicains roulent pour les riches et les dÃ©mocrates pour les pauvres.
This refutes a little the saying that the Republicans are for the rich and the Democrats for the poor.
While the EU is polishing its new partnership offer on their side of the Atlantic, let's conclude with a link to a welcoming poem in Creole by Mauritius poet Tahir Hussen Pirbhay: “Premye Prezidan Nwar.”