Thought I'd bung up a few random thoughts about this election thing in the US.
1. It's not really a landslide is it? I mean Obama certainly spanked McCain in terms of electoral college votes, and it's the biggest Dem vote for some time, but the lead in the popular vote is not comparable to say Labour in 1997. Obviously the lack of serious third party must make a difference but still it's not quite the same as what we would consider a landslide.
2. That reminds me that it would be a major mistake, therefore, to write off the GOP. Although there are already signs of the various bits of the Right coalition turning on each other it's not a given that they will be as stooopid as the Tories were initially post-1997. We obviously don't know how the next four years will pan out for the Dems either. We could fool ourselves into thinking there is a seachange, when actually this is a primarily anti-Bush and tentatively pro-Obama vote that could unwind if, say, the economy continues to experience real problems.
3. Sarah Palin. Not as a straightforward as it looks this one I suspect. There wasn't really time for her to develop in the campaign so the meejah coverage quickly shifted from one simplistic narrative to another - from pitbull in lipstick to incompetent loony (maybe those are two sides of the same coin). Obviously by the time of the vote she was alienating as many neutrals as she was energising core Right voters. But next time around those rough edges will have been smoothed. And let's be honest - there was an unpleasant undercurrent to some of the commentary about her. Even on the Beeb election programme last night there was some real schoolboy humour when her name came up. Much as I disagree with ...err... pretty much everything she said in this campaign I found some of the coverage a bit sneery, and that always seems to go down badly in the US.
4. I'm genuinely a bit shocked at the distance between reality and some of the comments of partisan supporters in this election. For example I find it incredible that Biden was asked by a reporter, in all seriousness, if Obama was a Marxist and I have seen plenty of keyboard warriors argue that he actually is in recent weeks (and I'm sure there are people amongst the Obama support who have equally loony views). I accept that we all filter information according to our world view, but to make such patently false claims about a person just because they are on the other 'side' makes me a bit depressed. Where's the truthiness?
5. At the risk of being optimistic it's got to be looking good for the Dems over the long term. Obama has put together a wide coalition of support this time, and the fact that he's sewn up so much of the youth vote must be good news for elections in the future.