Barack Obama has been voted the 44th President of the United States (or POTUS, as a friend of mine would say), and as an American living outside the U.S. it is a exciting and interesting time.
across the Atlantic Ocean it can be pretty difficult to be an American (as i've mentioned previously), but being in a different country does provide the opportunity to view the United States through the eyes of others -- a view for which i was not really prepared.
among Americans it's not fully realized that the entire world watches America as closely as she watches herself. in many cases i think foreigners actually know MORE about U.S. politics than Americans themselves. the American media foolishly focuses almost entirely on national news, rarely taking an international view, and that's not so admirable. for a lot of countries (including England) the daily news is FULL of American news coverage -- and perhaps that is part of why so many foreigners resent Americans.
after Barack Obama was announced the winner of the U.S. Presidential election this morning (last night for you Americans), many public figures made statements of positivity and congratulations. one of these statements came from David Cameron, the leader of the Conservative party in Great Britain. Cameron said: "Barack Obama's victory will give people a new opportunity to look at the United States and see her for what I believe she is - a beacon of opportunity, freedom and democracy."
that's a refreshing thing to hear coming from the mouth of a British person -- but i have to wonder if the words will be so complimentary once the election honeymoon is over.
it was striking to me that Obama delivered his acceptance speech in Chicago behind 3-inch-thick bullet-proof glass. god help the United States if there is an attack on the life of the first black president.