Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Obama wins

So where were you when Obama got elected as the 44th US President?

We were watching the grin being wiped off the face of Fox/Sky News.

The results came slow at first. The BBC had gravitas plus the annoying Jeremy Vine, with the stupidest computer graphics ever seen. Every time he focused on another obscure precinct in some random midwest state, we switched to Sky News. Here, the presenters look like members of the mafia, and McCain results were called immediately while Obama calls came slow and late.

Around 2 a.m. the BBC added Simon Schama (US-based Brit TV historian) and John Bolton (ex US ambassador to the United Nations) to their Washington panel.

Schama is the classic intellectual (INTP) - slightly diffident and transactional. Bolton looks to me ENTJ, but very tough-minded and very judgemental. What the Myers-Briggs typology doesn't wholly capture is Bolton's offensiveness- he's often accused of being a bully. In Schama's world, ideas are discussed on merit, and personal assertiveness should be set aside; in Bolton's world, the alpha male dominates his opponents and wins by personal aggression.

Bolton had a shouting match with the BBC reporter Katty Kay, who argued that selecting Palin had been a mistake. Kay was right, but Bolton treated her with arrogant disdain and steamrollered her. She was last seen on the monitor, red-faced, spluttering a response as she was cut ... enough of that. Schama was like a deer in the headlights, sat next to Bolton, as the latter treated him with undisguised contempt.

As an INTP myself, I really felt for Schama.

Adrian and myself had a brief nervous moment when it looked like Virginia was moving the wrong way. Pennsylvania reassured us, while Ohio finally gave us the confidence to turn in, just after 2.30 a.m.

Clare had left us before 10 p.m. with serene confidence that Obama would make it. She appears to be entering her winter hibernatory mode.