Can he do it?

More to the point, can you America??

Will we wake up tomorrow with Obama as President-elect?

I hope so, and so does most of the world. Only Algeria, congo and Iraq are counted as leaning towards McCain in the Economist’s, admittedly wildly unrepresentative, poll of the world.

But, of course, the world’s opinion doesn’t affect the outcome of the election. At home, polls point to him winning convincingly, with an 11 point lead in some cases.

I certainly hope Obama takes the Presidency for a multitude of pure policy reasons: his intention to sort out the parlous state of the US healthcare system, his acknowledgement of the environmental disasters we’re facing, a nuanced approach to Keynesian and redistributive economic policy and a sensible multilateral approach to international relations.

From my secularist perspective, his keynote speech to the Call to Renewal in June this year more progressive than I imagined this devout churchgoer would be, and more progressive than I thought a presidential candidate could be.

Of course, it’s nowhere near everything I could wish for as a secularist, but he recognises the importance of Church-State separation in a way that I can’t imagine Bush, McCain or Palin would.

As a leader, Obama also deserves to move into 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue because he is, to quote the Republican Colin Powell, a “transformational figure”. Regular readers of this blog will recall me saying on various occasions (here) that I have a huge admiration for the USA, but in recent times, I’ve been very disappointed with the direction America has taken away from its ideals.

I’ve watched Obama’s speeches and followed his campaign closely. I’ve been filled with hope, and so have millions of other people who would have been otherwise apathetic.

A leader that can transform that for the better has to be the next step for America and, by extension, the world. After spending the largest war-chest of a presidential campaign in history against a party whose incumbent president has rock-bottom approval ratings and during a massive economic crisis, I think I’ll be more crushed than I was in 2004 when Bush was re-elected.

Tune in for a post election review tomorrow.

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