Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Obama's Victory - Open Thread

So, did you stay up? What do you make of Obama's victory? What did you make of the TV coverage? Did you think that the BBC's coverage was as poor as I did? Discuss (until I get up!)

UPDATE: Donal Blaney has some interesting insights HERE.

85 comments:

Jamie said...

calling it before anyone else Iain?

Anonymous said...

John Bolton really called out the BBC on their biased coverage. It was a joy to watch Dimbelby squirm.

Howard said...

The BBC coverage was better than much else on offer. After the failure of your non-English live blog I would take a low profile!

Iain Dale said...

What on earth are you talking about? Drivel as usual, I imagine.

SwatchNJ said...

Iain, very sad to see that whoever was moderating in the small hours was very heavy-handed.

I'm not one for getting to het-up about this stuff but perfectly innocent rebuttals to Donal's more extreme theories simply disappeared.

If posters are profane or whatever, then fine. But, really, it was quite embarrasing that no comments were getting through apart from the golden circle of hard-right wingers...

Thanks for hosting the live blog in any case.

Iain Dale said...

I don't know what you are talking about. All comments went through unless it was the period when I was asleep and Shane and Mike were moderating!

Howard said...

I was not the only person who had trouble with your live blog. See other comments on other thread.

insomniac said...

The worst thing about the BBC coverage for me was the wriggling and twitching and wittering of Simon Schama on the panel in the Washington studio. How on earth Americans put up with him I will never understand.

Iain Dale said...

How very strange. One thousand people took part and you consider it a failure. I had no reports of anyone having trouble.

Howard said...

Iain, See comments on post "US Election Live Webchat" I was not the only one having problems.

Iain Dale said...

Howard, I did look. You were the only one as far as I can see.

John Pickworth said...

Working fine for me. Comments might be slow to appear but given the hour (and the other eye on the TVs) I think that's understandable.

By the way, the American Networks are all calling Obama's victory (4am UK / 10pm EST US)

Anonymous said...

I agree with insomniac. Is there something mentally wrong with Simon Schama? I saw him last week on Question Time and he was ducking and weaving dramatically as he spoke.

Sat next to John Bolton he looked positively unhinged!

Rog said...

Thee Beeb's coverage wasn't poor, it was atrocious!

A total lefty w*nk-fest in fact.

How much did this cost the telly-tax payers?

PS Bravo to John Bolton - not taking any crap from them. Can we have some politicians like that over here please?

Manfarang said...

Stay up?
It's morning in Asia.
A new dawn!

Howard said...

For example:

Blogger Wrinkled Weasel said...

Yes Iain, but don't you think its a bit elitist to do the webchat in Latin?

True Brit said...

BBC's coverage was poor. ITV news was much better, and much less lavish. Sky was okay too.

That twit Jeremy Vine is not getting any better with his silly graphics - today's were a very obviously computer generated 3D balcony affair, with animated displays that popped up, complete with an attendant toilet-flush style noise (rather appropriately) as the graphics appeared and disappeared. The bullet point information that appeared one point at a time, then moved down to make way for the next bullet point, was a nightmare to read - just as you focussed on it the damn thing moved - though I bet Jeremy and his graphics people were moist about it all.

04:14, Dame David Dimblebore announces we're going to Karen Allen in Kenya, cut to Karen, speaking to her colleagues, unaware that she's live on camera, saying "I have a lump in my throat" - no personal views evident there then...

Iain Dale said...

I assumed that was a joke. So that makes 2 out of a thousand. You are right. It was a complete fiasco. Ever thought it might be a setting on your computer?!!!

Anonymous said...

BBC coverage was bad.

For just a few months, I hope we can be happy ... put away the cynicism, the fear, and hope ... then, in January, we can start normal operations.

Things can only get better, I have my doubts as to whether they can or will ... but, we can hope for now that they will.

Anonymous said...

Gore Vidal is hillarious on the BBC ... he's a real nutty crank, Dimbleby is having fun.

Gore ain't even looking at the camera!

ross said...

Anyone who wimped off early has missed the best part of the whole evening -- Gore Vidal on the BBC at 4.45am. Hope it appears on YouTube. Hilarious.

tout le matin du monde said...

Thanks Iain, wasnt the best place to follow but unlike CNN.com and BBC you didnt keep kicking me off in Aussie.

Head of Legal said...

I agree the BBC coverage was disappointing - I think I'd have gone to bed if I hadn't been watching CBS on the web as well. The worst bit of the BBC was Laura Kuenssberg with Ricky Gervais in New York. I'm surprised they didn't have the Beckhams on too.

John Pickworth said...

First election ever that I haven't watched ANY BBC.

Been on Sky, Fox and a few others.

I really cannot stand the silly Childrens TV graphics that the Beeb uses. I was though impressed with the touch screen systems used by both Sky in the UK and Fox News in the US. The presenters were able to call up a wealth of facts and figures from this and previous elections at the touch of... well, a screen.

Obama speaking live now.

Doing his "Yes we can" bit... and sounding scarily like that President from the movie Independence Day!!!!

JuliaM said...

"...sounding scarily like that President from the movie Independence Day!!!!"

Well, let's hope aliens don't invade, since America has decided not to elect the former fighter pilot, and gone with a former 'community organiser' instead!

John Pickworth said...

Touche Juliam ;-)

Here's part of Obama's "We will not go quietly into the night" victory speech.

Obama / BBC Video

Another Day said...

Iain, thanks for hosting the live chat - it was an excellent way to spend a long election evening.

I thought the BBC coverage was...OK. I said during the chat that I found it calmer and quieter then Sky, CNN, and Fox. To me, that was actually quite pleasing during a long night. Yes, it wasn't at all perfect and there were glitches but it guided me through the evening.

I thought the graphics were less intrusive than other channels, but of course thats a personal opinion. They do, however, need to work out how to present the results with Jeremy Vine much better and without the gimmicks.

And maybe David Dimbleby is near the end of his career fronting these programmes.

But I thought they had some good points also. Christopher Hitchens, John Bolton, Simon Schama and Gore Vidal were good and at times entertaining guests.

Damon Lord said...

I give up with the politicians on this planet. I'm emigrating to Mars, as soon as I can.

True Brit said...

So, Dame Dimblebore goes off to snooze and the ever awful BBC Breakfast News starts at 6am.

True to form, the Bolshevik Broadcasting Co. leads on the electoral college votes of McCain 155, Obama 338 - giving a misleading impression of the extent of the US popular vote - it wouldn't have taken much to mention, even in passing, the percentages, which are of course not the landslide that the BBC would like everyone to believe it is.

It will be interesting to see if Obama manages to make it, under the current economic circumstances, to a second term - Jimmy Carter Mk. 2, anyone?

Anonymous said...

I watched the BBC most of the evening, and it was at times funny and engaging. However on a couple of occasions it was excruciatingly left-wing.

However it was all made worthwhile for the hilarious interview with Gore Vidal.

Dave Green said...

A transformational election result is announced, and yet most commenters here seem more interested in their usual BBC-bashing.

How depressingly insular and predictable.

Anonymous said...

There's only so much Jim Naughtie one can take.............

MB said...

I watched the start of the BBC coverage after watching My Family At War, Jeremy Vine came on and I switched off almost immediately. Did not watch TV again all night, cannot stand that person.

Anonymous said...

Obama vs Palin in 2012!
Then America would've woken up to reality.
Good day for history though!

Anonymous said...

Obama and McCain's speeches showed up UK politicians for the political midgets they are. Whether you agree with one or the other, they both honed down on some solid points on which they, and the US, could move forward.

I could no more imagine Broon or Cameroon doing that than dancing on the moon. What a complete lack of vision our political system provides.

Anonymous said...

BBC election coverage is dire - they believe that they need to dumb down, even at 4am. Simply reporting the results with analysis from experts who are actually expert is apparently a bit elitist....

Fire Vine and hire Mike Smithson from www.politicalbetting.com

norman said...

Obama's victory if anything explodes the fallacious argument about 'experience' over 'novice' so much touted by McCain there and Brown here. The argument for 'change' has exploded that myth. Throw out the cynical unelected PM Brown with experience who brought us the economic ills here and
go for 'change'

Anonymous said...

The BBC was embarrassingly poor. Never mind Ross and Brand, that's reason enough to reconsider their funding! SKY was excellent, ITV made the best of it on a tight budget.

Oscar Miller said...

I woke up at four just in time to hear McCain's very gracious concession speech. It was dignified, sincere - noble even. But what did the beeb pick up on? A few half hearted boos at the mention of Obama. This seemed to be amplified for the 7am report - I presume the subtext was to suggest nasty/racist Republicans (even tho' they also booed Joe Biden's name). ITV coverage (which I watched after switching off R4) was miles better as was GMTV. They captured the mood of euphoria without resorting to the below the belt malice directed at Republicans that the BBC never fails to stoop to.

Johnny Norfolk said...

Does anyone know what his policies are. I have never seen any on the BBC its just been personality.

I think we need to judge him by what he does and as the media have never explained what he intends to do I will wait and see for myself.

urban man said...

true brit said...

ITV news was much better, and much less lavish...

At first I misread that as "less slavish"

John Moss said...

Obama will almost certainly be more protective of internal US interests.

He said as much many times on the campaign trail, though this was never reported by the BBC, despite the potential for this to lock the US - and with it the world - in a global depression as it did in the 30s.

I fear the reciprocal action for the EU will then depress global trade even more and Brazil/China/India will emerge as a third globally significant economic bloc.

Oceania, Eurasia, Eastasia. Makes me shiver.

Mr Jabberwock said...

Ian

I hope that you are on the look out for HMG slipping out bad news whilst the News journalists are looking across the Atlantic

Oscar Miller said...

A transformational election result is announced, and yet most commenters here seem more interested in their usual BBC-bashing.

How depressingly insular and predictable.

November 05, 2008 7:08 AM


But that's the whole point. This is a momentous, historic moment. The kind of moment the BBC used to be justly proud of capturing. But they've completely failed. Instead they are locked into unimpressive, dumbed down reporting and petty point scoring. It's the BBC that has become insular and predictable. They have not risen to the occasion.

Alan Hood said...

I am normally a big fan of the BBC, especially BBC World which is the channel we recieve here in Saudi Arabia. However I was a bit disappointed with their election coverage and ending up watching CNN which is something I never normally do.

I also thought Simon Schama was embarrasing and could not understand why they would want him after his appearance on Question Time.

However very pleased with the result and hopefully it will bring a better era of USA world relations especially in this part of the world.

Anonymous said...

I can't wait for the inevitable press conference between Gordon Brown and Obama, as a journalist cheekily asks him..


" Do you still think 'This is no time for a novice' ? "

MixTogether said...

A fantastic result, and a fantastic moment for people of mixed race throughout the world!

Even the most entrenched attitudes CAN change.

God Bless America.

PSJ said...

This election reminds me of 2005, in that the popular vote was much closer than the FPTP results and the orgasmic lefty-media election shows.

I happen to think Obama will most likely be a one-term President. He has raised expectations he can't possibly fulfil because they contradict each other; his management of Washington will be poor or atrocious, like the first term Clinton's, given his lack of experience and the fractured nature of the Democratic Party; and he will be forced to tack right to govern what is still a fundamentally conservative country, alienating the Obamaniacs who knock on doors for him. Given the economic problems crystallising over the next few years, the Republicans could well find that this was a good one to lose.

However, I could be wrong, and he could really be the second coming.

Anonymous said...

The wrong choice, an empty vessel making lots of noise!

Richard's proud mum said...

Richard Bacon on Radio 5 was excellent as usual.

canvas said...

This is a great day for America and a great day for the world.

Obama will be a great President. This signifies a very significant shift in American politics.

Barack Obama spoke with great dignity. He knows he faces real problems but he has a powerful mandate and lots of good will behind him.

This is about moving forward - the UK should take note.

The BBC coverage was dismal. I watched CNN and it was very informative.

Anonymous said...

Well done, Canvas. We're all so emotional at home. Wasn't quite prepared for how emotional I'll feel this morning. Our only regret is our mum passed away end of Sept and couldn't see this moment. And Obama's gran sadly passed away a day before this historic moment. This isn't a day for politics, it's a day for Booker T Washington, Martin Luther King, LBJ and of course Lincoln. A great day. God bless America. I'll order a shirt with Obama's photo on it, so my kids can keep it as a historical artefact when they're older.
p.s. And yes, BBC coverage was atrocious. I switched off. Will never watch their news coverage again. Biased Broadcasting Corporation is their name.

Colin said...

Maybe now we'll actually find out something about Obama...

http://www.thisislondon.co.uk/standard/article-23581778-details/Why+millions+won%27t+be+voting+for+Barack+today/article.do

judith said...

I don't care for Obama's politics, but it will be interesting to see if he can continue to be as suave and controlled once embroiled in the months of investigation into nominees for Secretarial and Judicial appointments that will now ensue.

It's also interesting that for all the understandable joy at seeing a mixed-race President, Obama doesn't come from 'slave stock', unlike so many of those who voted for him.

And I wonder how Native Americans feel at this time? Ruled for more than two centuries by white men, now by an Afro-American .....

Lady Finchley said...

How about wishing Obama well without even thinking about his colour?

Somehow I don't recall Catholics going on and on about what a great historical day it was when JFK, the first Catholic president was elected.

I am still waiting for the day when there is an Italian American president but THAT will never happen because being Italian American will ALWAYS be associated with the Mafia. Unfortunately Italian Americans don't have as strong a lobby.

JPT said...

Well done Obama.

Well done the USA on electing a mixed race President - but they'll never elect a black one.

Also, Obama is, at the end of the day a POLITICIAN.

Yes that's right a Politician - and what do we think of them??

Wrinkled Weasel said...

Just to clear it up. Yes, the Latin thing was a joke.

When I first accessed this blog, the live blog software displayed Lorem Ipsum (filler type). Once I had set the various permissions it was fine.

I have to say I enjoyed the live blogging immensely and would like to thank everyone, especially Iain, for doing it. I consider it a great success and would ask a teeny weeny favour that he repeats the deal for Glenrothes!

Anonymous said...

@anon (3.34am). What nonsense! Bolton was a bully and a bore and made me switch over.

Iain Dale said...

Did you get that Howard?!

Anonymous said...

@insomniac - I am no fan of Schama, but I thought that he was actually rather good. He was the only person with enough intellect and wit to challenge some of the rubbish that Bolton was coming out with.

Anonymous said...

@rog - Yes, I'd love Britain to have more (Conservative) politicians like John Bolton. He'd help you guys lose.

Wrinkled Weasel said...

As for Obama. I shed no tears. He lost me at "arcs" and "bending".

The last time I cried at an election was in 1997, having voted Tony Blair in. I soon realised that you cannot trust any politician, ever. Blair is the quintessence of insincerity and a war criminal. He looked so fresh and so bereft of sleaze and guile. And yet, on that May morning in May, 1997, with tears in my eyes, I thought the world had really changed. Yes it changed. Look at us now.

I don't trust Obama any more than I would trust McCain. They are all bent.

Cath said...

for what its worth I couldn't access it at all, tried IE, Safari and Firefox, no joy.

Anonymous said...

Agree wholeheartedly that the BBC coverage was awful! I watched CNN mostly and it was very good.
Live blog was excellent Iain and I had no problems with it at all.

Anonymous said...

Text doing rounds in London - Rosa Parks sat so Martin Luther King could walk, Martin Luther King walked so that Obama could run, Obama ran so our children can fly.

Wrinkled Weasel said...

Sorry African Mum to burst your bubble (You normally make so much sense) Rosa Parks and MLK were un-elected citizens. They had the benefit of an overwhelming public mood that was free to change its mind every hour of every day. So strong and steadfast was that mood that change, real change, could happen on the single issue of Black emancipation.

Obama is now a slave to the system, in the same way every President has been. He has the economy to worry about, the rest of the world to worry about and the preservation of the domestic status quo will become his priority. He will be mired in controversy, bogged down in international crises, and, no doubt, beset with personal scandals.

Sorry, but I have been through this one too many times and I remember Watergate. So, I hold out no hope from the new incumbent, unless, that is you can convince me that because he is black he is without sin.

Oscar Miller said...

After all the crowing about "no time for a novice" it now looks like the stupidest spin ever. You have to hand it to the Brown team - they really know how to score own goals.

Anonymous said...

You make absolute sense Wrinkled Weasel. I know this is a Tony Blair moment from 1st May 1997. But for people of my background, something magical happened last night. Obama is a politician of the Mayor Daley school. But no matter, now our kids can be that if they want or be anything if they want. It's not easy growing up feeling some doors would never open to you. I believe that's all changed.

Wrinkled Weasel said...

They said that about Mrs Thatcher.

All it proves to me is that one, very rich, slightly black man, with a lot of very clever people behind him, at a certain point in history, can get elected without actually telling people what he was going to do.

I cannot see his priorities turning to the millions (soon to be a majority) of Hispanic people, the many illegal immigrants, or the poor blacks, because they are mostly a lost cause. They will always be ill-educated, poor and anti-social and non-voting. This is no longer because they lack opportunities but because they are not motivated.

I think Lewis Hamilton is and can be a role model for young black men in this country. I am relieved that he is a young black sportsman who is not a puglilist (which I find detestable) He is one of the lucky ones. His dad ( a very decent working class man) not only stuck around to bring him up, but gave him the world. We can be proud of him and his achievement.

Cronan said...

Dimbleby was hideous, out of touch, boring and abrasive, all at the same time. I hope they put him out to pasture after this.

Prodicus said...

Best moment of the night, or rather of the small hours, was when the tired, emotional, apparently rather deaf and graceless-as-ever Gore Vidal, the Prince of Unwarranted Haughty, mightily insulted at being asked questions instead of receiving the customary silent adulation and licence to bore at length, crossly dismissed David Dimbleby with: 'I have no idea who you are'.

One pompous arse spatchcocking another.

Disillusioned said...

I thought you said Donal's insights were interesting. They are anything but.

The Remittance Man said...

Norman @ 7:41

Actually I thought Blair's landslide in 1997 proved that argument - Nulabour's been bloody disaster and I suspect Obama's NuDems will be the same.

Anonymous said...

Wrinkled Weasel

Boxing has lifted more young men (and now women)out of poverty and destructive lifestyles than any other form of sport. It remains a noble art of self discipline.

Motor racing is a sport for multi millionaires and major companies, the good it does is for engine development, not inspiration for young people.

As for politicians, you get the sort of politican you vote for, and you voted Blair.

If you want decent ones, bad mouthing will ensure that better candidates never put themselves forward.

Darrell G said...

BBC was dire beyond words....not because it was biased but because it lacked content, was slow, creaking and just plain god awful...what are the chances of a Daily Mail campaign about this I wonder??

richard said...

McCain may have a quick temper but if they'd have had him in 2000 then... His concession speach was awesome.

I'm really quite emotional too Africanmum - it's brought in the kids and shut up (no disrespect intended) the older folks - to see Jesse Jackson blub without control brought the whole struggle to a single moment. Yeah, sure, being President is all about compromise but unlike that odious Bush clan his compromise won't be between Halliburton & Exxon - sure, they'll be players but they don't own him.

The Christian right scares the bejeezus out of me and I'm a Catholic (bloke - so think it's rude for me to be pro-life).

I know Bush trades on people under-estimating him but for crying out loud, how low can you go?

Iain - the message thing worked fine for me and I thought CBeebies was much better than BBC1 - much more informative too!!

Yeah, now your kids can't

Angus said...

I too was disappointed by the BBC coverage. I think it was a mistake to have Dimbleby as anchor. He clearly was out of his depth when it came to local knowledge. Matt Frei is far more knowldegable on both the US itself and the election. I was also realy irritated that they went out of the studio just because they could. It broke up the flow of the panel discussion. Suely you go out of the studio when there's a meaty news line to report, rather than to hear what C-list British celebrities think?

Anonymous said...

2012.Game on!

Lady Finchley said...

Richard, you are just so naive if you don't think Obama (or any other president) will do the same - it is the nature of the beast. And as for that old fraud Jesse Jackson - he was probably crying because HE never got to be president.

Wrinkled Weasel said...

Anon 1.09

Quote:

"Boxing has lifted more young men (and now women)out of poverty and destructive lifestyles than any other form of sport" End Quote

Oh yes?

2001:
The former heavyweight boxing champion Herbie Hide was ordered to be electronically tagged yesterday after being convicted of assaulting a civil servant in a nightclub.

14/01/05:
Former heavyweight fighter Jo-El Scott has been found guilty of murder and is facing a life sentence without the possibility of parole. A jury in New York found sufficient evidence in Scott's case in which he was charged with the rape and murder of an elderly woman.

23/10/07:
Amir Khan, Olympic medalist,convicted of careless driving after hitting a pedestrian
7/01/08 fined and banned for driving at 140mph.(He got off lightly on both raps, even after evading a court appearance)

2005:
Light welterweight Ricardo Williams Jr. was sentenced to three years in prison for his part in a conspiracy to distribute cocaine.

2006:
Garry Delaney, the 35-year-old former cruiserweight/heavyweight was sentenced to at least 11 years behind bars for killing Paul Price, age 23, with a single punch.

Scott Harrison. Where to start really.Drugs, Drink, Violence. He has done it all.

Mike Tyson. Convicted rapist.

2008:

Amateur boxer, 27 year old Michael Matovu, a Ugandan man from Southwark, was sentenced on September 5th at Wood Green Crown Court to 33 months imprisonment for 1 count of GBH.

The former world boxing champion "Prince" Naseem Hamed has been stripped of his MBE following his 15-month prison sentence for dangerous driving.

Hamed was convicted last May after the McLaren Mercedes sports car he was driving at 90mph smashed into another vehicle, leaving the driver with every major bone in his body broken and injuries to his brain. Rescuers said his physical state was "like soup".


If your anonymous twittering wasn't so execrably glib and fatuous I would spend more time explaining this to you, but for now, read the above and go and fornicate yourself.

Summer said...

Africanmum

I agree with WW you usually make a lot of sense, and I can understand why you think this is a joyful occassion.

Unfortunately, I don't think Obama will be the role model you hope for. When he fails, and he will because he is a very poor choice as a politician, he will be seen as a BLACK failed president.

One day in the future we may be get over all this racism, and stop believing that race is a prime consideration. Maybe we will have a world where loyalty to you country and representing all its people is the prime consideration instead.

When that happens, that will be the day we can all be joyful. But Obama will not help that cause and I feel very sad for the world today.

Quintessence said...

Bolton was horrific - he didn't "call" the BBC on biased coverage, he bawled out a journalist for asking the Colorado Republicans if they were having a bad night. Dimbleby was correct that the journalist's figure was right. Bolton's use of blood pressure as a siege weapon is the kind of tactic it will be nice to consign to the wilderness forever.

David Lindsay said...

It was fascinating to see two evenly-matched parties (McCain took nearly half the popular vote) slugging it out. We haven't had that here since 1992, and we are still a very long way from it.

It will not come back while the Tories still exist, the continuation of that existence being, in turn, the only reason why the Labour Party still exists.

At the same time as they voted heavily for Obama in California, and comfortably for him in Florida, they also voted (very strongly in Florida, at least) to define marriage as only ever the union of one man and one woman.

That is one of several illustrations of the fact that this is a victory for morally and socially conservative foreign policy realists (as far from pacifism as from neoconservatism).

If Democrats, whether permanently or even for the purposes of a single election, they are only ever and by definition Democrats for economically populist reasons. Which are, of course, the right reasons.

Those who the people who have put Obama in. And those are the people who could and should put him right back out again in 2012 if he does not deliver the goods on all three of economic populism, moral and social conservatism (at the very least, don't make matters any worse), and foreign policy realism.

Yes, of course he is going to beat Sarah Palin anyway. But he has no absolute right to be the Democratic nominee at all.

Look at the huge numbers now registering as Democrats. They cannot be Hard Leftists, diehard liberals or peaceniks, since people like that were already registered Democrats.

And they might not always have nowhere else to go.

Anonymous said...

I stayed with you until 3.30 then had to give up as I had early appointments.Yes sometimes comments were slow comming, but that was to be expected considering how many were contributing, may the guy who was moaning missed some comments as at time stey came very fast and furious.
It was good to be a part of it down here in Wales.
Dimbleby was dreadful , I enjoyed Sky and dipped in and out of a whole range of channels.
thanks for the buzz

Anonymous said...

Appalling coverage - they suttered along (why do educated people have such difficulty stringing a sentence together? It's the same on Radio 4 .. "I .. I .. I .. " - well I'd rather turn off!) Gave up after one presenter mispronounced Arkansas.

Too depressing that I'm forced to pay a licence fee so these fools can sit there stating the obvious (if they ever spit it out!)