The Price of Victory…

…is eternal sleeplessness. It’s approaching 5am GMT and having watched Obama take one state after another and cross 270 in the electoral college, until now he is on 338 and very much the President Elect. The rumour is that Obama will be making his voctory speech soon, so sleep is not yet an option.

There were two stories in tonights election. One is the victory of Obama, and the other is the defeat of Bush. John McCain gave a speech so gracious in defeat that many people would remember the maverick McCain that seemed to disappear through the election. And remember that McCain was never the true candate being judged. George Bush and the hideous cynicism, selfishness and corruption his administration represented were defeated at this election.

Oh…here he comes…back in a tic…

This is not the change. This is the chance for change. That was a powerful speech, much like the powerful speeches Obama has made through the campaign. But it made very important rhetorical points. Obama’s strenuous rejection of the partisanship that has poisoned decades of American politics seemed absolutely genuine, and was genuinely mirrored in McCain’s earlier speech. But vitaly Obama said the thing I most wanted to hear, that people now need to take hold of the chance for change and make it happen at every level of society. The environment, human and civil rights, economic reform and the rest. If these things are going to change, the passion that went into this election now have to go into creating that change. From all of us.

But my favourite moments of this great evening were provided by the BBC covergae. Firstly John Bolton looking like he had been slapped in the face with a large haddock with every state Obama won. Secondly, the moment Gore Vidal, who has seemingly gone completely senile, told presenter David Dimbleby he had no idea who he was and then went on an incoherent rant about the ‘Evil Republicans’. It was almost symbolic to see two such devisive and partisan figures as Bolton and Gore undone on a day when partisanship received a mighty blow.

Oh…and the first black president. This really must be the future!

Time. For. Bed.


Published by Damien Walter

Writer and storyteller. Contributor to The Guardian, Independent, BBC, Wired, Buzzfeed and Aeon magazine. Special forces librarian (retired). Teaches the Rhetoric of Story to over 35,000 students worldwide.

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