I suppose I would have been less shocked and disappointed if Obama had lost than when Kerry did because I could not, still cannot, imagine how anyone could have regarded Bush as even minimally competent by November 2004. But still it was extraordinary to wake at ten past four this morning, and switch on the kitchen radio in the middle of McCain’s concession speech. It was the best news since 1989. I don’t really suppose that Obama can rescue America but what gives me hope is the fantastic volunteer effort that got him elected. It’s impossible to imagine that kind of popular movement in this country, even for donkey welfare.
One other point: Tim Bray, in his comments, was lamenting the absence of a credible conservative voice in American politics. But as far as I can hear, this is exactly the voice they have elected. Just as Kerry was an Eisenhower Republican, Obama seems to me to be exactly the kind of conservative who understands when change is inevitable. The great question is he will prove enough of a statesman to manage things so that everything changes in order for everything to stay the same. Whatever else he is, he’s not a destructive revolutionary, far less so than Bush was in his blundering way.