Wednesday, November 05, 2008

International Reaction Gathered By CNN

Definitely worth posting...

(CNN) -- Around the world, media reaction to the Democrats' victory has poured in, as newspapers and broadcasters reflect on the Barack Obama campaign and the global impact his win will have.

A member of the public picks up a copy of a newspaper with U.S. President-elect Barack Obama on the cover in Sydney, Australia

A woman picks up a copy of a newspaper in Sydney, Australia

The International Herald Tribune said that America had "leaped" across the color line, calling Obama "a 47-year-old black man who made history both because of his race and in spite of it."

The Times of London said Obama had revitalized U.S. politics. "The immense turnout in yesterday's election was testament to the energy, excitement and expectations of a rejuvenated American democracy, as well as the fears of a nation standing at a crossroads of history," the paper said.

It added that Obama's inheritance would be challenging. "The new president faces economic and social convulsions at home, conflict abroad."

Also in London, The Guardian focused on the historic nature of the Democrats' win, saying: "Victory in the end came as easily as the polls had predicted," and comparing Obama's achievement with Roosevelt's of 1932 and Reagan's of 1980.

In Germany, Der Spiegel's Gregor Peter Schmitz, writing from Chicago, called Obama's rise "astonishing," adding that his "curious ability to remain untouched by all the razzmatazz around him is likely to prove a source of strength."

Al Jazeera said Obama had "surfed to power on a wave of voter discontent generated by the failures of President George Bush and the Republican Party" and added that he faces "unique challenges." It continued that he must "act quickly" to restore confidence in the economy and with his country "sick of war" is "unlikely to make any additional major overseas military commitments."

The Jerusalem Post said that the transition in Middle Eastern policy from the Bush administration to Obama's would be "'evolutionary, not revolutionary,' according to diplomatic assessments in Jerusalem."

Israeli daily newspaper Haaretz called the U.S. election an "example of democracy at its best," citing Americans' "plethora of opportunities" to learn about the candidates' policies and stance on key issues. It also paid tribute to Obama's unifying influence, saying, "Whites and blacks, Jews and Muslims, all decided to give their votes to a candidate who is young, black and lacking in governmental experience," and expressed its hope that the President-elect would "rehabilitate the status of a superpower that remains unrivaled in its influence over the peace and welfare of all humanity."

Jordan's English daily, The Jordan Times, wrote an article entitled: "The American leader we need," in which the writer said: "Around the world, America's presidential election campaign has attracted as much attention as domestic political controversies in each of our own countries. The interest the world has taken in America's vote is the best example of America's soft power, and a lesson in democracy from the world's only superpower. If only we could all vote as well as watch and listen, because the outcome is vital for everyone around the world."

UAE Arabic daily, Al Khaleej considered in its editorial that "whoever is the winner, Israel had guaranteed that the White House will be biased to her."

In Tunisia, the Arabic daily Al Chourouk said: "Today America elects "The President of the World."

China Daily wished Obama well, saying that although it was elated at his landslide win, he faced "daunting challenges." It cited the economic crisis and the Iraq war as the driving factors behind the Democrats' victory, adding: "We have every reason to anticipate a more cooperative and talk-savvy new America."

And The Asia Times heralded the "End of a subprime era," calling the Bush administration "classic American salesmen" for whom "selling was their passion."

The Times of India called Obama an "advocate of strong partnership with India," saying the President-elect had "made it clear India poses no threat to Pakistan." But it also expressed concern about Obama's references to discouraging outsourcing, a policy it says would have an adverse effect on India.

The Kenya Times said Kenyans were "exuberant" and called Obama "the foremost blaze-trailing son of this land," adding that "[he] has convincingly shown that the world could be better through diplomacy than intimidation and arm-twisting tactics."

Japanese news agency Kyodo said Obama's task to repair the economy was "daunting," saying the American sub-prime meltdown had "sent global financial markets into a tailspin."


In Russia, Pravda was ecstatic, announcing that "Eight years of hell are over." It proceeded to catalog George W. Bush's perceived failures and slights against Russia and criticized the cost of the "grand American soap opera" during a time of economic crisis.

Over in Australia, the Sydney Morning Herald paid tribute to the Obama campaign, calling it a "stunning grassroots political movement, powered by massive multi-million dollar fundraising." It said his "stunning ascent" to the leadership of a nation "still riven by racial divides" would close an "eight-year era of turbulence under Bush."


I thought it important to post the results of the historic, 2008 election (CNN's recap below).

It occurred to me last night that this will be the first president Chase remembers. And, while she couldn't possibly understand the complexity of the situation, she will be exposed to a charismatic man who brings people together as he attempts to solve America's problems - a man who is humble enough to admit he can't do it himself - and intelligent enough to listen and weigh advice and direction from others who have more experience. It will be interesting to see where we are four years from now.

CHICAGO, Illinois (CNN) -- Barack Obama did more than thump John McCain in the Electoral College tally; he also handily won the popular vote and redrew the great divide between red states and blue states.

Barack Obama addresses a crowd of more than 200,000 at Grant Park in Chicago, Illinois.

Barack Obama addresses a crowd of more than 200,000 at Grant Park in Chicago, Illinois.

Riding a Democratic tide that bolstered the party's presence in both houses of Congress, Obama snared about 62.8 million votes to McCain's 55.6 million, according to totals early Wednesday.

According to exit polls, Obama crushed McCain among women voters (56 percent to 43 percent); voters under 30 (66 percent to 32 percent); African-American voters (95 percent to 4 percent); Latino voters (66 percent to 32 percent); first-time voters (68 percent to 31 percent); and voters making less than $100,000 a year (55 percent to 43 percent).

"I think this is the passing of an old order," CNN senior political analyst David Gergen said as the results rolled in Tuesday night and the outcome became increasingly evident.

"I think what we see ... is a new coalition, a new order emerging. It isn't quite there, but with Barack Obama, for the first time, it's won. It is the Latino vote we just heard about. It is the bigger black vote that came out. Very importantly, it's the youth vote, the 18-to-29-year-old," said the Harvard University professor and former presidential adviser.

Early voting totals in the East suggested things would go traditionally, with McCain taking most of the Southeast, Obama most of the Northeast.

But then things quickly changed, as the senator from Illinois struck -- first in Pennsylvania and then in the Midwest state of Ohio, states McCain had to win in his bid for the Oval Office. Obama then delivered an uppercut in Virginia, a state that had not voted for a Democratic president since 1964.

As polls closed from East to West, Obama kept hammering McCain, as he snatched away Iowa, Colorado, New Mexico and Nevada -- states that had been in President Bush's column in 2004. (Missouri, Indiana and North Carolina were still counting votes early Wednesday, but it appeared one or two of them could become blue-state converts as well.)

With McCain on the ropes, an Obama victory in Florida sounded the death knell. As the sun rose Wednesday, Obama had an insurmountable 338-163 lead over his rival in electoral votes, with only 37 undecided.

As he claimed victory Tuesday night, Obama told supporters, "change has come to America."

"The road ahead will be long. Our climb will be steep. We may not get there in one year or even one term, but America -- I have never been more hopeful than I am tonight that we will get there. I promise you -- we as a people will get there," Obama said in Chicago before an estimated crowd of up to 240,000 people.

With Obama's win, he becomes the first African-American to win the White House.

McCain pledged Tuesday night to help Obama lead.

"Today, I was a candidate for the highest office in the country I love so much, and tonight, I remain her servant," McCain said.

The senator from Arizona called Obama to congratulate him, and Obama told him that he was eager to sit down and talk about how the two of them can work together.

Obama will also be working with a heavily Democratic Congress. Democrats picked up Senate seats in New Hampshire, New Jersey, North Carolina and Virginia, among others.

But Obama pledged to work across party lines and listen to the 46 percent of voters who chose McCain.

"While the Democratic Party has won a great victory tonight, we do so with a measure of humility and determination to heal the divides that have held back our progress," Obama said.

"To those Americans whose support I have yet to earn -- I may not have won your vote, but I hear your voices, I need your help, and I will be your president, too," he said.

And he recited the words of Abraham Lincoln, the first Republican in White House, to call for unity.

"As Lincoln said to a nation far more divided than ours, 'We are not enemies, but friends ... though passion may have strained it must not break our bonds of affection,'" Obama said.

Supporters in Chicago cheering, "Yes, we can," were met with cries of "Yes, we did."

Bush also called Obama to offer his congratulations.

The president told Obama he was about to begin one of the great journeys of his life, and invited him to the White House as soon as it could be arranged, according to White House spokeswoman Dana Perino.

More than 1,000 people gathered outside the White House, chanting "Obama, Obama!"

Sen. Hillary Clinton, Obama's former rival for the Democratic nomination, said in a statement that "we are celebrating an historic victory for the American people."

"This was a long and hard fought campaign, but the result was well worth the wait. Together, under the leadership of President Barack Obama, Vice President Joe Biden and a Democratic Congress, we will chart a better course to build a new economy and rebuild our leadership in the world."

Sen. Edward Kennedy said Americans "spoke loud and clear" in electing Obama.

"They understood his vision of a fairer and more just America and embraced it. They heard his call for a new generation of Americans to participate in government and were inspired. They believed that change is possible and voted to be part of America's future," the Massachusetts Democrat said in a statement.

Voters expressed excitement and pride in their country after casting their ballots in the historic election. Poll workers reported high turnout across many parts of the country, and some voters waited hours to cast their ballots.

Tuesday marked the end of the longest presidential campaign season in U.S. history -- 21 months.

Obama, 47, will begin his transition to the White House. He will be sworn in as the 44th president on January 20.