Tuesday 6 November 2012

Today's the day

There’s two surprising things about the US election. One is just how much the two candidates (and their supporters have spent) on largely negative advertising. The second is how close it is. It’s not even clear that the result will be known straight away given the opportunity for legal challenges in swing states.

That is surprising given the euphoria that greeted Obama’s success just four years ago and the fact that he hasn’t done a bad job in almost impossible circumstances. He has acted with conviction on security matters, with common sense on foreign affairs and with some success in economic terms. This is despite inheriting a broken financialsystem and out of control wars.  He has faced a Republican party determined not to compromise on any economic issue – to an unprecedented extent - making the US deficit a real worry.
I suspect that neither candidate will act particularly differently on most issues so at one level, who wins doesn’t matter: economic growth will be slow but will happen and  although there’s a lot of intensity at the moment that will fade away for most people and life will get back to normal. But at another I quite strongly hope Obama wins.  I just don’t think that it would be fair for the Republicans, after four years of such bad behaviour, to succeed. And Romney’s behaviour on his “meet the allies” world tour hardly shows he is someone you’d want to do business with.

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