U.S. Election Night 2008 and the aftermath

Written by  //  November 9, 2008  //  Economy, Politics, U.S., United Nations  //  No comments

Gazette front page

   Electoral College votes  and counting

Obama wins historic US election
John McCain’s very gracious concession speech (audio & transcript)
Obama’s Victory Speech (audio & Transcript)
Obama Victory Is Record News on the Web (NYT)
The hour beginning 11 p.m. Tuesday — when Senator Barack Obama was widely projected to have won the presidency — was the biggest for news Web sites since measuring began three years ago. Demonstrating the Web’s growing dominance as a news source, an average of 8.5 million visitors per minute clicked onto news Web sites worldwide from 11 p.m. to midnight.
For Many Abroad – an Ideal Renewed
The World Reacts (slideshow)
Worldwide Reactions to the U.S. Election (video)
Many abroad embraced Barack Obama as America’s next president, proclaiming that America is once again an example for the rest of the world.

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The Winners and Losers of Campaign ’08
Arianna Huffington: Winners: The Davids – Axelrod and Plouffe: they spearheaded a near flawless campaign. Katie Couric: her multi-part interview with Sarah Palin was the turning point in how the country saw Palin — and by extension John McCain. And she did it in a way that left no room for accusations of being unfair or playing “Gotcha!” Michelle Obama: smarts, grace, style, charm, and a serious “good mommy” vibe — she’s got the whole package. Losers: Joe Lieberman: failed to deliver Democrats, independents, or Jews. And on the way to losing his committee chairmanships. Liddy Dole: her “Godless” ad will be taught in What Not To Do poli sci classes for a century. Joe the Plumber: the clock just hit 15 minutes, and the wakeup call will not be pleasant. Click here to read more.
Obama Team Weighs What to Take On First

Mr. Obama repeated on Saturday that his first priority would be an economic recovery program to get the nation’s business system back on track and people back to work. But advisers said the question was whether they could tackle health care, climate change and energy independence at once or needed to stagger these initiatives over time. Mr. Obama has acknowledged that the economy will force him to recalibrate his program but insists that he has not backed off his commitments [which, just prior to the election he identified as:] His second priority, would be energy; third, health care; fourth, tax restructuring; and fifth, education.
7 November
Obama Seeks Speedy Action on Economy

The president-elect said he and his advisers would try to find ways to help the struggling automobile industry, and that he hoped to see enactment of an economic-stimulus package either before or soon after Inauguration Day.
Mr. Obama took care to thank President Bush for his warm remarks upon his election, and to pledge that he would do nothing between now and Jan. 20 to undercut the outgoing chief executive.
Choosing the First Puppy
(BBC) US President-elect Barack Obama is still working on the make-up of his cabinet. A far more important decision – for his daughters at least – will be choosing the puppy that accompanies the new First Family to the White House.
6 November
A good round-up of Canadian pundits in
Maclean’s Megapundit:
The day after the morning after
Audacity of hope, please meet the $455-billion deficit.
(FP Morning Brief) Given the state of the economy and the role it played in the campaign, most close observers expect Obama to name his Treasury secretary soon, and an announcement could come as early as today. Former Treasury Secretary Larry Summers and New York Federal Reserve Bank President Timothy Geithner are the names mentioned most frequently. Paul Volcker is another possibility, but the Wall Street Journal reports that the 81-year-old former Federal Reserve chairman doesn’t want the job.
Other transition tidbits: Al Kamen reports that some Obama fundraisers have cause to worry that the president-elect won’t give them plum ambassadorships. David Ignatius previews Obama’s foreign policy and says that the personnel will come first, and then the policies. Reuters wonders if Obama might appoint a “climate czar.”
Internal Battles Divided McCain and Palin Camps
5 November
Obama hits ground running

(FT) Barack Obama on Wednesday moved swiftly to capitalise on the momentum from his historic victory by announcing a string of senior appointments aimed at reassuring the markets and ensuring a confident transition to the presidency in January.
Senior campaign officials said Mr Obama, who was on Wednesday showered with effusive congratulations from leaders around the world, will also appoint at least two Republicans to senior cabinet positions. He wants an “administration which is young and diverse”, said one person close to Mr Obama.
After a Decisive Victory, Obama Chooses Transition Team as Challenges Loom
Barack Obama wins his place in history

The US elects Barack Obama as its first African-American President as he storms to victory over John McCain – leading by 349 Electoral College votes to 162
At the end of a marathon race to the White House, U.S.A. finally has finally elected its 44th President – Barak Obama. IPS brings you comprehensive coverage and analysis of this historic election.
Hamish McRae: The new President has a huge challenge ahead of him
It makes no sense to use loans from China to fill shopping malls with cheap tat
Obama promises ‘new dawn’ after historic win
(FT) World leaders hailed Mr Obama’s victory as a chance for a fresh start at tackling the world’s security and economic challenges.
Obama Sealed Win by Taking Biggest Risks, Making Fewest Errors
(Bloomberg) He made the difficult look easy. A rookie in a field of veterans, he made the fewest mistakes. He stayed cool when others were impulsive. He took ownership of the word “change” and never relinquished it. He leveraged technology as never before, rewriting the template for campaigns in the digital age. Obama, 47, ended up with millions of volunteers and more than $650 million, the political equivalent of all the money in the world.
Bill Copp comments: Welcome back America, welcome back to the world and congratulations on a job well done.  November 4 2008 will prove to be one of those dates that people look back upon many years from now and remember where they were on this special day.
Obama’s historic victory
(The Economist) When Mr Obama gave a speech that made him famous, in 2004, decrying “blue states” and “red states”, it seemed unlikely that he would be the one to bridge the divide. But the scale of his victory in this election is substantial: he won at least 333 electoral-college votes and will probably do well in the popular vote, too.
Robert Scheer on Obama’s Victory
Morning Again in America” — It’s time to gush! Later for the analysis of all the hard choices faced by our next president, Barack Obama, but for now, let’s just thrill, unabashedly, to the sound of those words.

NEWSWEEK presents the Special Election Project, a seven-part in-depth look behind the scenes of the campaign, consisting of exclusive behind-the-scenes reporting from the McCain and Obama camps. NEWSWEEK’s Special Election Project, which was first published in 1984, is an inside, behind-the-scenes account of the presidential election produced by a special team of reporters working for more than a year on an embargoed basis and detached from the weekly magazine and Newsweek.com. Everything the project team learns is kept confidential until the day after the polls close.
CHAPTER I How He Did It
Highlights: Hackers and Spending Sprees
Thanks to Frank Kinnelly: a testimonial, eloquent and well worth reading, by one of Obama’s teachers at Harvard Law, Laurence H. Tribe
Morning-After Pride
(Forbes) I am watching the sun rise over Lake Michigan in the land of Lincoln on this new day in America. This is the morning after a great divide in the biography of the United States. As a nation, we have come of age.
Obama and the UN
Careful observers of the U.S. elections noted that mentions of the United Nations were not a major part of the foreign policy platforms of either candidate, says The Nation’s UN correspondent Barbara Crosette, who writes, “Ignoring the UN has become bipartisan.” Nonetheless, the election of Barack Obama brings with it some immediate gains for the UN, including a likely restoration of American funding to the UN Population Fund — which totaled nearly $300 million in 2008. The Nation (11/5)

The List: What McCain and Obama Didn’t Talk About
Some of the most pressing international issues the next president will face were barely discussed during the 2008 campaign. How will McCain or Obama handle them? We’ll just have to wait and see.

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