The pundits in the studio where certainly more confident than I was as we waited for the various states to declare. The slightly odd exit-poll + sample declaration system they use in the US meant the TV networks where being very cautious before calling the contended states. The geography of the US ensured we saw a series of states repeating their red/blue pattern from the previous election. Every time Mr Vine pulled up a contended state on his whiz-o CGI touch screen the numbers always seemed to be within a few percent of each other. It was only when Ohio went blue I started to relax and consider the eventual historic result possible. We finally headed to bed around 3.30 in the morning which is having a bit on an impact on me today.
Obama has his work cut out for him now. He gave yet another commanding piece of oratory for his victory speech. However he inherits an uncertain economy, a massive public deficit, two wars and a lot of damaged foreign relations. Looking at the popular vote he has a slight edge but the US still looks more or less evenly divided between the liberals and the conservatives. While the capability to inspire and unite the American people will stand him in good stead it's no small task he has to accomplish when he takes office in January. It certainly is a historic result, however we won't know history's judgement on impact of last night for some time yet.