06 November 2008

The election

I suspect that the world outside the USA was holding its breath until the moment the victory of Barack Obama was certain. The universal sigh of relief was almost audible: the fear that the American people would once again make the wrong choice was palpable. Whether he can can do much to repair things in the short term is debateable, but he is one of very few politicians I have listened to in whose sincerity I can believe and whom I can believe will try. He is clearly one of the most intelligent Presidents the USA will ever have had and he is a striking orator who projects the capability of leading and who knows where he wants to lead. The world of scholarship, that Information Research seeks to serve, is hardly likely to suffer during his administration and I imagine that, by the end of his first term, the global economy will be recovering enough from its present difficulties to enable research and scholarship to benefit.

My one fear, having lived through the early, squandered promise of the Blair years in the UK, is that promises will be difficult to keep and the disappointment we feel will be felt in America. But Obama is a better man than Blair and that fear is modest.

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