November 05, 2008

Barack The Vote

So, there we have it: Obama wins. As many of you know, I went into last night feeling hopefully pessimistic about his chances (kind of like cautiously optimistic, but less so), and I'm glad to have been pleasantly surprised by the results.

Not as pleased, mind you, as the town of Obama, Japan, who went a little wild. ("Obama" means "little beach" in Japanese, which is actually kind of ironic, because when Obama the man is getting kinky in the bedroom he likes to be called a little beach.)

Let's be clear, though. I thought the Obama/Biden ticket was a lot better than the McCain/Palin ticket, but that was mostly down to the Palin part. In fact, I think McCain would have made just as good a president as Obama (notwithstanding my disagreement with his position on a few key issues) — and before you pounce on me for being some sort of closet conservative, please remember that it was only five or six years ago that even King of the Liberals Jon Stewart was begging McCain to run as a Democrat. He's not a bad guy, even if he ran a bad campaign, and he's repeatedly demonstrated his commitment to doing what he thinks is best for the country. That's a pretty valuable presidential quality, if you ask me.

Now, in a broader context, Obama was probably the better choice in this particular election for his international cachet, if nothing else. The reaction around the world to Obama's win can best be described, I think, as a giant sigh of relief, and these days that's not insignificant. (The only exception to the positive international reaction has been in Britain, where people have been setting fires up and down the country all day, I can only assume in protest.)

And there's also, of course, the symbolic value of finally having an African-American in the Oval Office, which is also an important victory. The BBC certainly thinks so, even if their choice of accompanying advert was a little unfortunate:



In the end, then, yeah, I'm glad Obama clinched it. But it will not have escaped my dedicated readers that I've always been a little skeptical of him, and I am by no means relinquishing that skepticism, at least not yet. He still seems to me more style than substance, more idealistic than pragmatic, and overall lacking — yes, I'll say it — in experience, and these are all things that worry me. I'd still much rather it was Hillary going to Washington in January.

I'm willing to give the O-man a chance, though — I just think we should all reserve a little bit of our elation and jubilance until we see how well he actually does the job.

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

Jubilance?

Andrew said...

OED: "The quality or fact of being jubilant; jubilation, exultation, gladness."

:-P

Anonymous said...

That pun was awfullll...

Anonymous said...

For a thirtieth of a second wished I hadn't installed an ad blocker.

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