For the last two years the world has heard the words; when the United States of America sneezes, the world catches a cold. So last night the world was watching, with bated breath to see what would happen. At one minute past eleven, all the major networks were predicting a landslide victory for Barack Obama. The Beeb showed pictures from Kenya, his father's country, people huddled around a radio, people dancing the joy evident in the movement of their bodies. What a night.
I cast a thought to Alan, my consultant who'd gone home to Florida on Friday so that he could be part of the waning hours of the campaign, to assist in getting people out to vote. I know he was having a drink somewhere, as were the many Americans living in Trinidad, basking in the satisfaction, really history. Mr. Obama's election night speech is going to be one of those moments; most of us will remember what we were doing, where we were doing it and who we were with.
The world changed last night, an infinitesimal shift, those tiny ripples are going to get bigger as the weeks go by, because despite the political game, there is now someone whose office holds so much world significance, whose thinking seems to be radically different from business as usual.
Good luck to you Mr. President.