Change. Hope.

There you go, then. Barack Obama has been named President-Elect of the United States of America. Of course we over here are removed from the whole thing, but there’s no escaping the significance of a change in the leadership of the States for the rest of the world. Just look around you at all the ways America influences life here.

There’s a definite sense of hope pervading the blogs and tweets today, with the occasional flash of cynicism recalling the rapid tarnishing of New Labour. It’s easy to be cynical, isn’t it? We tend not to admit to hope — it makes us feel naive — yet hope is also the riskier attitude, leaving us vulnerable to disappointment.

I think I’m happy that Obama is on his way in. For balance I’ll mention that John McCain has generally struck me as good spud (an assessment reinforced by the graciousness of his concession speech this morning), although elements of his campaign and campaign team certainly gave me pause.

Barack Obama seems to bring the inspirational back to politics. At some point over the last decades we became very suspicious of politicians and rhetoric, but I hope the new President-Elect can overcome that suspicion. I actually think he might be able to.