It’s been a long day / night. Occasionally you feel the need to do something that you know is stupid in the long run and will knock the hell out of you, but is important to do anyway.
Such as sit up and watch the majority of the US Presidential coverage. Obviously here in the UK it’s not on at the most user friendly time (neither for that matter are the UK Elections) but this time it promised to be something special so I grabbed a couple of hours kip last night before getting up at one to check the first results and then half three for the real meat of the proceedings. I’m glad I did.
It was wonderful. Even in the UK, wrapped up in a duvet and staringly blinkingly at the TV removed from the process it made electrifying viewing. By the time the big swing states came into view there was a real sense of history in the making, that this was something that would be talked about for years to come – a remember when moment. UK politics has become rather soul-less over the last few years, sure we remember seeing Portillo losing his seat in 1997, but it was still one established political force taking over from another, this felt different somehow, somehow a celebration of something positive.
It isn’t just the US that’s celebrating today.
McCain gave a gracious speech despite the best efforts of idiots in the crowd and its quality has been justly lauded today. This is a man who for ten years has attempted to get into the White House, this was his last chance and whilst he was clearly emotional at the loss, you also got the sense that he knew he was powerless in the face of something bigger on the horizon. Then came that speech.
It was wonderful. We all knew Obama was an impassioned speaker but nothing prepared you for this. At five in the morning your never going to be at your most emotionally stable due to lack of sleep but even the most hard hearted must have felt something listening to it. It was magnificent. Obama’s biggest problem is going to be living up to the hype created around him, but if nothing else this speech will be remembered as a superb piece of political theatre.
And so now all the shouting is over. No matter what happens in four years time there’s the sense that it can’t be quiet as big as this. Some have called it a call to all western nations regarding its elections – hell The Times even goes so far as to hope that David Cameron will be viewed in the same light come the next UK Election – a sense that breaking from the status quo is occasionally worth the risk. I want our next election to be as passionate as this, I want voters to engage and if it takes something like this then so be it.
I’m waffling now, lack of sleep is beginning to get the better of me – but it was completely worth it.