It’s been a long journey, not only for Americans or their presidential candidates, but for the world as well. It’s been like some sort of global competition to see who will become the next president of the world – and in a way that may be more true than false. It’s been the costliest election in history. Both campaigns spent around $1 billion. The entire election, with all its candidates vying for their party’s nomination, the price tag of this whole process seems to have totaled $5 billion.
And while here in Jordan we still can’t elect a government, our members of parliament know how to run an election under budget. It’s been about three weeks shy of a year since our last elections but I think I can still recall the costs:
You have tent costs.
Knafeh and coffee.
Posters and banners.
and of course, vote-buying.
So I’ll estimate that to be around 50,000 all together for each candidate, which totals to a minimum of 5.5 million JDs and that’s just the winners, so you might want to (at least) double that number if you’re including all the candidates that initially ran.
In any case, back to those pesky US elections.
Since the start of the primaries less than a year ago, I have written some 20 US election-related posts, and for that I apologize. It was an unavoidable cost. Lord knows I could’ve written 20 a week but this past year has seen me restraining myself to untested limits, just so I could lower that cost a bit. Again, I apologize. I’ll also apologize for the 4 or 5 inevitable posts that will come after the election has been won.
All the polls seem to indicate an Obama victory, with some pointing to an Obama landslide. It’s like Kennedy versus Nixon all over. Who knows. I will have to rely on Jon Stewart and the Daily Show to guide me through the electoral map later tonight. I wonder how many people on this side of the ocean are staying up for it? Like the Oscars, or the opening ceremony of the Olympics, except it involves complicated maps with red and blue stickers, undecided voters and swing states.
The outcome may be just as interesting as the race itself. I can imagine the shock of a McCain win and I can also envision the inevitable sense of disappointment that will emerge months and years from now, with an Obama win. Change and hope. Blah. What are those?
People forget that politics is politics. The variables change but the equation, and therefore the outcome, remain the same.
Anyways, at least the loser will fade in to somewhat political obscurity for the next few years (if not forever). I can do without hearing the names Obama, Bidden, Palin or McCain for the rest of my life. But if the cost means only having two of those names on a daily basis, then any two will do.
Well at least we can all find some solace in the fact that in 24 hours the nightmare will be over.
Unless of course the machines malfunction and we spend the next 77 days hearing about a recount.
If that happens, then the world is stuck with Bush for another 4 years.
Seriously. It’s in the constitution somewhere.
“and I can also envision the inevitable sense of disappointment that will emerge months and years from now, with an Obama win. Change and hope. Blah. What are those?”
you got that wrong. I have all faith in a person that earned a Harvard degree after being a recipient of food stamps. It shows will, resolve, and intelligence. So, yes, I do have hope that change will be felt by even people in Jordan.
“So, yes, I do have hope that change will be felt by even people in Jordan.”
well, here’s one Jordanian who won’t be holding his breath 🙂
I know change will be felt in Jordan, but will it be positive or negative? I think the hope-deficit is irreparable by either man. As I read Ambassador Beecroft pledge $14 million to Jordan, I doubted whether it (or the previous record highs pledged) will get here in the end or not when pressure is on to solve US based problems first. Lots of folks want that spread to stay at home.
I feel for Obama and the job ahead of him when the expectations on him are unbelievably high. No matter who wins, American economic gravy days are over (were over, except by debt-extension) and this reality, combined with unrealistic expectations, are an explosive combination. Not in terms of violence, but in terms of waking hope in those who had given up only to dash it again among the normal American populace.
While I certianly agree that politics is politics, with each administration you do see changes. Many of those changes have limited impact outside the US. Inside the US, however, it can be a huge difference. Bush has appointed people to the Supreme Court who are, quite literally, rewriting the laws of the land (or at least reinterpreting them). To those of us living elsewhere the impact is limited, but to those in the US it can be huge.
In addition, the personality of the President will influence the nation and the world. Bush entered office on the refrain of how bad the economy is (talk about a self-fulfilling prophecy) and looking for a war. He found not one, but two. I can’t imagine anyone in the world not looking for a change from this current administration. How much of a change… well, we’ll just have to see what happens tonight.
It’s interesting to me how you follow the race religiously and yet you are disenchanted by the rhetoric. I might be a slight dreamer over here but i believe in the possibility for hope.
Now to what extent it will effect Jordan is a totally different case but locally in the states i think the effects will be quite drastic since the situation at hand is quite drastic itself. One of the ways that jordan might be impacted is by the kind of aid it will receive.
anyways the way i put yesterday is this, ever since i was a kid i wanted to live through a pivotal point in history and i believe today is the biggest one i’ll live through.
“Itâ€™s interesting to me how you follow the race religiously and yet you are disenchanted by the rhetoric.”
true, and fairly predictable!
if u’re staying up for the closing of the polls, u might find this helpful: (not the video – the hour by hour bit under it)
on a side note, i still can’t joke about having bush for aother four years :p , so i guess all the blog posts u appologised for had some kind of therapeutic value! 20+ blog posts for that is quite a bargain!
Even though polls have shown a great advantage for Obama but we can surely say that his win is not 100% anything can happen in the coming hours, just as you said a recount might happen and vote number can be altered, even without the recount -due to whatever- forgery can happen.
Btw I enjoy your “election posts” they keep me updated 😀
Changes that will affect Jordan:
>>About one Million Iraqis going back to Iraq. Obama will end the war without starting another
>>Very likely that peace will finally set in. Imagine the economic effects once the Palestinian economy takes off.
>>One example of direct economic effects, aside from Aid to Jordan, is the reform of the health care system in the US. That should benefit Hikma and Dar EL Dawa’
>>Also, Jordan will get a new American Ambassador as is the case with every new administration!
I just have to mention that the figure of JD 50,000 in your post is an underestimate with the 50-100 dinars cost of a single vote. And you didn’t count the Manasif.
My hope is that more strings will be attached to the aid.
What are you talking about, the mere fact that someone called Barack Hussain Obama can become president of the US is change, and the mere fact that his platform is change gives me some hope… at least things wont be getting any worse.
I don’t expect any radical changes in our lives (in Jordan) either, especially with regards to the Palestinian issue, but an Obama victory can do something to restore America’s image in the world (even if subliminally) as a land of freedom instead of just being a bully. I think it is important for us that the US’s image improves because once upon a time (i.e. before the 9/11 and the Bush administration) alot of Arabs and Jordanians did admire the US in many ways even if we hated many of its policies, but it was seen as somewhat misguided but usually benevolent, unlike the European powers (which came with too much historical baggage).
What waste of money and energy,while both the Republicans and Democrats are spending billions of dollars this is happening in the good old USA
â€œand I can also envision the inevitable sense of disappointment that will emerge months and years from now, with an Obama win. Change and hope. Blah. What are those?â€
Sorry, Nas, but I believe you are totally wrong on this. My understanding is that you are a Jordanian living in Canada (not the US), and perhaps this is why you cannot fully appreciate what is taking place right now – and I don’t mean this to be condescending. An Obama victory would be huge in so many ways, very good for the world, and especially good for America. Change and hope are attitudes that move whole generations to do great things, and I think this is just the beginning of something great.
“my understanding is that you are a Jordanian living in Canada (not the US)”
i live in jordan, but thanks.
thank you everyone for the comments and i can tell there are a lot of people who disagree with me, and who are in their own way, pretty big obama fans.
your perspective is, as always, appreciated and respected.
some might call me cynical or even pessimistic, but i like to refer to myself as a realist.
and i pray that i’ll be proven wrong.