Gather for Obama: election night and victory day!

All around the world, plans are being made by international Obama supporters - both Americans abroad and non-citizens - to gather to watch the results come in on Tuesday and then party through on Wednesday, when we trust we will all have something to celebrate! To find events in your country/city have a look through our sidebar links for relevant groups, search international groups on barackobama.org, facebook, democrats abroad (here's a list of their planned events/contacts in 80 countries) and meetup. Some highlights:

  • Paris, France - La nuit Obama
  • London, UK - ObamaWatch Election Results Party (+events in other UK cities)
  • Rome, Italy - all night pancake party on 4-5th Nov
  • Moneygall, Ireland - Hardy Drew & the Nancy Boys gig in the hometown of Obama's great-grandfather
Please post details about other events in the comments, and/or on our facebook page. I'll be in Beirut on election night, following it with Iraqi and Lebanese friends, and then flying back to London on victory day.

The Economist endorses Obama

The Economist (based in the UK but with an global circulation), arguably the most influential international news weekly, has strongly and reflectively endorsed Senator Obama. In the past it has endorsed a mixture of Republican and Democrat candidates. Extracts from the editorial:

"Obama.. has clearly shown that he offers the better chance of restoring America’s self-confidence... A man who started with no money and few supporters has out-thought, out-organised and outfought the two mightiest machines in American politics—the Clintons and the conservative right... Political fire, far from rattling Mr Obama, seems to bring out the best in him: the furore about his (admittedly ghastly) preacher prompted one of the most thoughtful speeches of the campaign. On the financial crisis his performance has been as assured as Mr McCain’s has been febrile. He seems a quick learner and has built up an impressive team of advisers, drawing in seasoned hands like Paul Volcker, Robert Rubin and Larry Summers. Of course, Mr Obama will make mistakes; but this is a man who listens, learns and manages well.... In terms of painting a brighter future for America and the world, Mr Obama has produced the more compelling and detailed portrait. He has campaigned with more style, intelligence and discipline than his opponent... Mr Obama deserves the presidency."

Although approving of much of John McCain's Senatorial record, the Economist concludes: "If only the real John McCain had been running... The Candidate McCain of the past six months has too often seemed the victim of political sorcery, his good features magically inverted, his bad ones exaggerated. The fiscal conservative who once tackled Mr Bush over his unaffordable tax cuts now proposes not just to keep the cuts, but to deepen them. The man who denounced the religious right as 'agents of intolerance' now embraces theocratic culture warriors... rather than heading towards the centre after he won the nomination, Mr McCain moved to the right... On the great issue of the campaign, the financial crisis, he has seemed all at sea, emitting panic and indecision... The choice of Sarah Palin epitomised the sloppiness... Had he become president in 2000 instead of Mr Bush, the world might have had fewer problems. But this time it is beset by problems, and Mr McCain has not proved that he knows how to deal with them."

Avaaz advert raises international voices for change

Our friends at Avaaz, the global advocacy group, have created an excellent video in which people from many countries speak about what is good about America, and call on Americans to vote for a change from the disastrous Bush years. The write: "How Americans vote will influence whether we see a timed end to the war in Iraq, if we form an international consensus to tackle climate change, how we deal with the situation in Iran and North Korea, and whether we finally prioritize the fight to end global poverty. We've produced this global ad echoing the voices and concerns of the billions outside the US who can't vote... US Avaaz members have asked for this help. The ad doesn't tell people who to vote for, but its overriding message of tolerance, diplomacy, human rights and equality is unmistakable. If the ad hits the media airwaves, it will reach the nation's undecided voters just as they are starting to tune in -- and are determining which issues will underpin their vote."

Watch the ad, sign the petition and, if you can, contribute towards airing it:
http://www.avaaz.orr/en/for_all_of_us
The petition: "To the American Presidential candidates and people: We share the aspiration of the American people for a better, fairer world. We also see the disastrous effects of President Bush's foreign policies on climate change, human rights and international diplomacy. This election, we appeal to you for a fundamental change of course, to help the US and the world to come together and work for change."

Malcolm in Ohio

British Obama supporter Malcolm Clark, who was blogging for TWWO from the Democratic Convention a few months ago, is now in Ohio helping with the final week of campaigning. For an international perspective on the ground check out his blog. From tomorrow he will be accompanied by an American documentary maker who is filming and blogging their road trip together around this key swing state.

Welcome Back America!

This may be premature, but with the polls  now showing that Americans at last seem to be in agreement with the rest of us... maybe now's the time to say "Welcome Back America!" Welcome back to the America of Washington, Lincoln & King. Welcome back to the America which has contributed so much to the world in the past, and we trust under Senator Obama will do so once again in the future. And good ridance, we hope, to the unilateral carbon-belching bully-boy America of Bush, Cheney and Rumsfeld. We'll have to wait until 4th November (or the early hours of the 5th probably) before we can say that with real confidence. But when you're ready, send a photo and a message to welcomebackamerica.org

A new Obama t-shirt from France

Simon at French graphic design collective Agent Actif has adapted his great Obama t-shirt design with a post-racial message. He also says the shirts have been selling well in France (the French are tending to go for the English version interestingly) and, elsewhere, Hebrew and Arabic are the most popular other languages. He's also added German and Brazilian Portuguese versions.

A vote for Obama

We can't do it, but relying on American citizens to do the right thing, as below (from an absentee ballot cast by an American in Britain). After a worrying Palin bounce a few weeks ago, things are looking good now. The excellent FiveThirtyEight.com is currently predicting an 85% chance for a win. But we don't just want Senator Obama to win, but to win big - with a large share of the popular vote and a good number of the so-called "Red States". That will unite America around him and give him the momentum to take courageous steps for change, both addressing the domestic economy and in the international arena.