The American elections reached their Election Day conclusion today. Several hours earlier than I expected, the Presidential race ended when Republican John McCain called Democrat Barack Obama to congratulate him, then publically conceded the election. This means that the 44th US President will be its first African-American occupant of the Oval Office. In the final days of the campaign the current economic mess trumped all other campaign issues.
So now the transition, and the healing can begin. I feel that, with the Obama victory, hope has a chance. We saw that during the dust up between Russia and Georgia earlier this year. When McCain was asked how he would respond to the situation if he was President, his response was predictably militaristic, and involved sending US troops into Georgia, to side with the Georgians. Barack Obama’s response to the same question centered on seeking a peaceful resolution through diplomatic means.
While exit polls appear to indicate that economic concerns formed the top issue in voters minds, still I wonder about the subconscious impact candidate health had on the outcome. The fact that John McCain is 72, and has had four malignant melanoma skin cancer surgeries had to be a background concern, at least in the minds of some voters. The extent of its influence on the more medically aware voters will never be known.
Still, tonight, the United States faces a better future because enough responsible citizens saw through the last minute mud slinging from the Republican side and cast a decisive vote for the candidate of change. Now let the international healing begin.
Finally, tonight, there is even better news: in 77 days the Bush nightmare finally will end. More importantly he has only 15 days left in which his administration can make "economically significant" policy and Federal rule changes. After November 20, any such changes become draft proposals for the next President to act on.