It's been a long hard slog. Over the days and weeks ahead, I wonder if I'll have election withdrawal symptoms. Almost everyday for the last 6 months I've been checking the polling numbers of the candidates on realclearpolitics to see who's up and who's down. But US politics are never dull and a new administration will bring a different direction. It'll be interesting to see the fresh faces and to gauge where the emphasis will be?
What kind of President would either candidate make? The curious thing is we don't really know. We can make educated guesses based on their voting records and past speeches but history tells us that when leaders comes to power there are many surprises. Take Tony Blair as an example: he came from the left of politics and ended up taking Britain into war in the Balkans, Afghanistan & Iraq. No-one could have really foreseen that when New Labour took power in Britain (and probably not even Blair himself).
If we have a President Obama the first surprise might be for Europe. There were the many thousands who came to see Barack Obama on his whistle-stop trip to Berlin a few months ago indicating a huge amount of warmth for him and a desire for a real changing of the guard in the Whitehouse. But if he does make it to the Oval Office, there will of course be the honeymoon period and then I suspect after the first WTO meeting or summit he attends we may start to hear mutterings of discontent from other world leaders.
More than John McCain, Barack Obama is a protectionist which means one of his main priorities will be protecting jobs at home which indicates he will be wanting to relook at or renegotiate trade agreements including those with Europe.
A President Obama will be putting enormous amounts of pressure on other nations to offer more troops in Iraq and especially in Afghanistan. We've already heard glimpses of this in his message to Europe in Berlin. And you can bet that he will not be easing up on this.
I haven't written John McCain off yet. In fact there are plenty of so-called paper-bag over their heads Republicans who will say they are undecided of are voting Democrat but when it comes to polling day, they will be putting their cross next to McCain's name. But despite that I still don't think McCain has the numbers to win in enough crucial battleground states that he really needs to.
A young lady who was showing me into an office while waiting for an interview guest asked me if I thought that Americans would be loved again if Barack Obama was in the Whitehouse. I think for the last eight years, a majority of Americans have been unsure of where the Bush Administration has taken them. Even many conservatives are deeply unhappy with Bush. With either candidate and possibly more so with Barack Obama, that chip on the shoulder will fall away and Americans can begin to enjoy a fresh start and more of a feeling that the world is looking to them again for genuine partnerships.
Sleepless Special (01-06)
Robin Lee, Arthur Einöder and Steve Crilley will bring you coverage of the US-Elections in a Sleepless Special this night live on FM4.
Live-Blog von der Wahlnacht, ab Mittwoch 1 Uhr (MEZ)
Live Wahl-Blog aus New York
Christian Lehner wird die Wahlnacht in New York auf einer kleinen Wahlparty verbringen und live für uns mitbloggen.