Aileen Colleran’s Blog

Partick, Politics and Passions

Born in the USA

Which I’m not of course – but Born in Bolton doesn’t quite have the same ring to it.. Obviously this is one of those pivotal nights in history, and the closest thing to heaven for electoral anoraks. The Bruce Springsteen song that entitles this blog post is quite poignant and was often misinterpreted as a strident pro-American rallying cry by those who didnt listen to the lyrics. It’s one of his bleakest songs about the disillusionment of a Vietnam vet who feels betrayed by his country, only equalled by Steve Earle’s “Copperhead Road”. However, whether the experiences of John McCain as a Vietnam vet have the emotional resonance to appeal to a tribal (and possibly racially divided) “patriotic” vote , or whether America is ready to move on and there’s been a real cultural and generational shift, the next couple of hours will tell
Well ,the past hour was a bit nervous and it did seem as if the pundits were well out when landslides were being talked about but the projections for Pennsylvania now look good , as do the early returns from Florida. It’s still not clear but the trend does seem to be towards Obama.

Waiting on Ohio (whoah, just called for Obama .. Could this be it ?!) and Colorado – the latter being one of my favourite states in America (and the home of my football team, the Denver Broncos). I’ve been lucky enough to have done a bit of travelling in America, mostly on coach tours in the west, with amazing experiences along the way, such as a helicopter tour over the Grand Canyon and a balloon trip over the desert in Arizona and Monument Valley – and speaking to many people along the way – and it’s a more diverse and tolerant country than we sometimes think  and maybe tonight will provide the proof of that.

It’s 2.30am and it looks as if we’re getting to the moment of truth – this time four years and eight years ago I was off to bed with a very heavy heart – but this is feeling very different and the images that stay with me are the long lines of people waiting for hours to vote -can you imagine that happening here, although the complicated verification process is a factor.

3.30 am and what the heck.. the champagne’s been chilling for far too long and don’t think it’s pre-empting the result now ..a change is going to come (Sam Cooke , and maybe that shouldve been the blog post title..)

4am : Incredible, but true, it’s happened – it is possible for hope and idealism to be part of politics.


November 5, 2008 - Posted by | Uncategorized

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