Yes, we can

November 6, 2008

Does Obama’s win balance out Abu Grhaib?
Does it balance out waterboarding?
Does it balance out secret extradition flights?
Does it balance out weapons of mass destruction?
Does it balance out economic turmoil?

Does it balance out The Rumsfeld? (And if you’re looking for a book about Rumsfeld, the war in Iraq, Bush’s presidency or how leadership fails those it leads, look no further than Bob Woodward’s great book, State of Denial. Well worth a read in how not to get things done).

Does it balance out “if you’re not with us, you’re against us”?

I don’t know but it goes a hell of a long way towards it. Well done, America. Welcome back.

Now, get down to business. There’s a lot to do.

It would seem the world is enamoured with Michelle as much as with Barack and I can understand why having heard her speak (well, via the Tubes at any rate). This story seems to cover all the bases.

Here she is doing what she seems to do so well.

I’ve just had to train my spell checker to accept Barack as a real thing. I can imagine there are a lot of re-settings going on around the world today.

Finally a word about the online coverage. I watched this election via the BBC, CNN and Twitter. Rarely have I felt so involved. I dashed home ready to watch the speech (sorry, The Speech) only to find that TVNZ had decided to stop screening its coverage of the election in favour of a game show.

For the love of god, people, have you no idea what you’re doing? This man will be on a dollar bill one day. They will name airports and high schools and aircraft carriers after him and you cut to Wheel of Fortune? On the plus side, a man correctly guessed ‘Chocolate Brownies’ and won a photograph of any New Zealand landscape he cared to name, so that was nice.

I imagine that will be the last time I consider watching such events on TV. It’s the tubes from here on in, all the way.

Favourite online graphic: the BBC’s historical map of voting in previous US elections. Classy.

And Tom Scott, as always, does a splendid job of it.

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4 Responses to “Yes, we can”

  1. Mysterious Dave Mather Says:

    I heard the speech on RadioNZ, whilst doing some chores in the kitchen. It was quite amazing. Perhaps you should have stepped back in technology even further rather than just to telly…

    Still, I’m sure Jason Gunn was glad you were watching.

  2. audent Says:

    In the end I read it on the BBC site. Damn fine speech. I liked John McC’s as well, actually. I thought that was very well done and well delivered despite (or perhaps because) of the booing.

  3. Mysterious Dave Mather Says:

    Reading it would have been fine, but I think the speech really was given body by Obama’s voice. If you can find an audio do.

    The quality of speeches that come off American stumps are remarkable. Simply beyond what New Zealand politicians do, which is rather measured. And Obama is better than most.

    That still doesn’t explain Arnold Schwarzenegger’s pretty feeble attempts to incorporate bodybuilding metaphors into his public speeches.

  4. audent Says:

    I saw the bit about the puppy. That’s good enough for me.


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