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7 November 2008

America and the Falklands

Paul Evans' round-up of the top stories covered by the world's political bloggers

By Paul Evans

Good morning America

Entering Google Trends Top 10 this week: “inauguration day 2009 tickets”. Barack Obama’s victory in the election to decide the 44th president of the United States of America represents a victory fought even more fiercely online than on the ground. His own ”Fight the Smears” website (weirdly, a lapsed domain just a day after the election) gave supporters the tools to tackle some of more outrageous stories that circulated about him on the internet.

The president elect received a rapturous greeting from progressive bloggers the world over, and even some American conservatives found conciliatory words. National Review Online leads the right-wing blogs, and contributing editor Andrew McCarthy thanked Obama for his appeal to those who had not voted for him:

“On a night of glorious triumph for him and his ravenous supporters, the message could easily have been: Time for you bitter clingers to get with the program. It wasn’t. Instead, the new president spoke humbly to those whose votes he said he had not yet ‘earned,’” he submitted.

Representing the left of the Democratic party, Daily Kos was in understandably triumphant mood – celebrating the victory of young voters, who favoured Obama over McCain by a margin of 66 per cent to 32 per cent. Georgia10 wrote:

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“Thanks to George W. Bush, who crystallized the effect of conservatism on this country, there’s a whole generation of truly progressive voters out there. And thanks to Barack Obama, these young voters are energized and organized, and will remain so even though the election is over.”

Meanwhile, African-American lifestyle blog Young, Black and Fabulous’ Natasha, felt the momentous nature of Obama’s election as a moment in history:

“I’m moved by this election not because a black man has been voted into the White House, but because people finally get the purpose of a President–to uplift morale, be the steady and strong guiding hand in the face of chaos, unify, and be a GLOBAL face for our country”

Among the most fascinating senatorial races, highlighted on this blog back in April, was the battle for Minnesota. Of the 2.9 million votes were cast – a mere 571 votes separated the Republican incumbent Norm Coleman from comedian Al Franken, triggering a recount, in what the NY Times Caucus blog called “one of the most negative races this season”.

Right here, newstatesman.com’s America Decides blog carried on-the-ground reports from across the states, including Jonn Elledge in Pennsylvania, a state whose citizens marked the result by climbing on bus shelters.

What have we learned this Week?

While Tuesday’s elections provoked joy and optimism, they also shone a cold light on new injustices. California may have voted for Obama, but it also voted “yes” on proposition 8, to outlaw gay marriage. While others celebrated, Citizen Chris felt dispirited. He wrote:

“When I learned on Facebook this morning that dear gay friends of mine in New York were dancing in Times Square, and other friends in Washington were celebrating in front of the White House and actually comparing the experience to the fall of the Berlin Wall — while gay marriage was going down the toilet in California — is astounding to me. And deeply saddening and alienating.

His post is worth reading in full.

Videos of the Week

On this side of the pond, David Cameron this week spoke at the launch of Tim Montgomerie’s America in the World, a website designed to combat anti-Americanism. Oddly, Dave said that when he thinks of America, he thinks of “the Falklands”…

Quote of the Week

“McCain’s speech made it seem as if a long-lost twin brother had suddenly reappeared. It was one of the finest moments of his long, troubled campaign. This time he wasn’t worrying about the reaction of his party’s base — only what he felt needed to be said. Just like in 2000.”

John Gandelman on the Moderate Voice, notes the reappearance of Sen. McCain, a good man.

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