06 November, 2012

The last day

Friends of mine, during Superstorm Sandy as it is known, were stuck on the 25th floor of their apartment block in New York. There was no power so the lift didn't work, and whilst they could have slid down the balconies, getting back up would have been a bit of a schlep. So they were stuck, probably the worst nightmare for a claustrophobe. But wait: was that the worst nightmare? Supposing the lifts hadn't worked but the Television had, and they were stuck at home constrained to watch the election campaign, unable to run away?

Today is the vote and whilst apparently Mitt Romney is carrying on with the campaign it is, essentially, over. It was slow to get going and when it had started it appeared to be largely negative. One paper suggested that $3bn had been spent in the last couple of days, just on disparaging each other.

In another respect it was a success, though. Americans were left with a clear choice of two different ways forward, something we in Britain or the rest of Europe hardly ever get, the main parties being largely fungible. If, as the polls suggest, Americans have chosen the Obama way, I think they will have made a mistake. We shall see. At least, as I say, they will have had a choice.

People were unhappy with Obama, largely, I think, because he was unable to live up to over-inflated expectations. The election was for the Republicans to lose, and if they have lost it was down to their choice of candidate, and the reluctant way in which they selected him (even with a bad candidate, if he has the whole partly solidly behind him he will start off with some momentum).

Perhaps Paul Ryan, Romney's running mate, who seemed sensible, will stand for the Republicans next time. I don't know what the Democrats will do. Shooting stars don't come along that often.

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