If it wasn't clear before today, it seems clear now that Barack Obama is the next president of the USA. This is going to be very interesting for a number of reasons.
Firstly, those who claim to not be anti-American, but only anti-Bush, have now lost their cover. It will be interesting to discover the truth of this. We will see in the next year or two how the attitude of New Zealanders changes with respect to the US. I have found the anti-Americanism pretty hard to take at times.
Secondly, those who claim that America is racist have also lost their cover. A country which believed that blacks are inferior in some way would not elect one as its president.
Thirdly, the democrats now have control over all three branches of government. The fiasco of the past 2 years, where Democrats were unable to get any of their proposed agenda through into law could possibly be blamed on President Bush, although he vetoed very little. That cover is gone and it will be interesting to see the result.
Fourthly, in Europe, Obama was clearly the favourite candidate, perhaps by a margin of 4:1. Therefore we can expect an opening up of Europe to the USA. To some extent this has already happened in France and Germany, but we can expect Spain and the northern countries to come to the party also.
Finally, given that Obama was endorsed by Hamas, supposedly bin Laden, Iran and many other enemies of America, we can hope for an end to terrorism and a new era of peace.
OK so the last one may be a bit much to hope for, cynic that I am. But even terrorists might keep their word. An attack on the US during Obama's presidency would be a massive betrayal and not be good for the terrorists.
All in all this is a very interesting and promising result. No one can predict the future, but it seems clear that in 2012 his presidency will be judged either as just the tonic the world needed, or a massive disappointment.
Given Mr Obama's obvious abilities, I hope and trust that he will make good on his promises, and that the US and world will be the better for it. Even his ability to communicate must count for a lot, as Ronald Regan showed.
Good luck President Obama.