Comprehensive Election Reactions Round Up – A Reference – Reactions

(The original post, with everything on one page was too long to load. Hopefully this will fix that.)

While this section might be pretty redundant (everyone on the Left is relieved and hopeful, everyone on the Right is concerned, but happy for America that we could elect a black president), it’s one I still find interesting if only for the amount of reacting that happened. What it boils down to for many is a renewal of the ideal of the USA, an ideal that had been forgotten by most of the world and disappointed half the country for the last 4 years, if not the last 8 years. Along with helping to move the US away from racism, electing a black president should also be a strong weapon in the fight against extremism around the world.

Here are some newspaper covers from the day after the election from around the world, but not EVERYONE had Obama on the cover, here, here, and 724 here, (And at least 2 magazine covers). The early finish not only helped people get to bed, it helped newspapers, too.

By 10 pm. Eastern, newspaper editors could put crisp, definitive headlines atop their front pages. Some European newspapers managed the same, either by way of special editions or the quaint tradition of afternoon publishing.

For only the 5th time in their history, the NY Times used 96 pt font on its cover.

The Wednesday edition of the Times was very popular. It was sold out all over the city so people lined up outside the Times’ building to buy copies. Copies are available on eBay for $100 or more.

Many newspapers printed thousands of extra copies.

‘It’s an interesting vote of confidence for print,’ said Meacham. ‘If you want to hold onto something for commemorative purposes, you can’t hold onto a Web page.’

(But hopefully, Meacham’s comments notwithstanding, you will hold onto THIS web page!)

Much like this project is a grab of tons of links after the election, here is a round up of a bunch of people who took screen grabs of a ton of new sites.

“When the nation awoke Wednesday, it was, for better or for worse, a whole new world.”

Did the world despise the Bush administration so much, or are they just desperate to want to believe in the ideal of America again? I guess we could ask the same question about all the people IN the US who celebrated the election result so fervently.

Citizens of the world and their political leaders were quick to offer congrats to the President Elect.

From the LA Times:

If history records a sudden surge in carbon emissions on Wednesday, it may be due to the collective exhalation of relief and joy by the hundreds of millions — perhaps billions — of people around the globe who watched, waited and prayed for Barack Obama to be elected president of the United States.

The Boston Globe:

Many around the world grabbed the news of Obama’s win as a sign that the United States was on the verge of a historic turning point, politically and socially.

And the below from the same article, but mostly for the cool band name, Hardy Drew and the Nancy Boys:

At Moneygall’s Hayes Bar, an American flag fluttered and local band Hardy Drew and the Nancy Boys played their rousing folk song “There’s No One as Irish as Barack Obama.”

The AP:

Today, reality in America has superseded fantasy. … Americans have struck a deadly blow to racism all over the world. Americans have regained themselves and have regained the American dream. The picture of the U.S. that was disfigured by the Republicans in the past eight years fell from the wall today. The picture of the America we had in our minds has taken its place.” – Prominent Saudi columnist Dawood al-Shirian.

Round up of world leader statements.

Europe is jealous of our new president:

The headline on Germany’s Bild said, “Good Morning Mr. President, Make the World Better!” and Le Figaro led with “The World Salutes Obama’s Victory.”


One other thing: this is a country whose President-elect’s middle name is Hussein. That is a fact to be celebrated. I received an email from a young friend, an entrepreneur in Kabul, this morning. He said, “We are all smiling now,” and he attached a Pakistani press clipping–the Taliban greeted the new President and said they were ready to commence talks.

What it was like to watch the election in China.

I was surprised by the largely pro-Obama turnout, especially with Democrats Abroad and the very active Americans in China for Obama group also hosting functions. I tried to find similar Republican events in town but could not. “It’s always this way,” a Republicans Abroad officer from Hong Kong told me by email.


Across the globe, people in city squares and villages, living rooms and shacks cheered his success, boosting hopes that America’s first black commander-in-chief might herald a more conciliatory approach to the rest of the world.

The Economist:

Non-Americans must also brace for disappointment. America will certainly change under Mr Obama; the world of extraordinary rendition and licensed torture should thankfully soon be gone. But America will, as it must, continue to put its own interests, and those of its allies, first. Withdrawing from Iraq will be harder than Mr Obama’s supporters hope; the war in Afghanistan will demand more sacrifices from Americans and Europeans than he has yet prepared them for. The problems of the Middle East will hardly be solved overnight. Getting a climate-change bill through Congress will be hard.

The New York Times:

Tristram Hunt, a British historian, put it this way: Mr. Obama “brings the narrative that everyone wants to return to, that America is the land of extraordinary opportunity and possibility, where miracles happen.

And numerous other not necessarily international people flooded the internet with what Obama’s win means.

People won’t have as much to fear as they thought they did.

There are still a lot of mixed-up, terrified people out there who went to bed last night in a panic about what “those people” will do now that they have one of their own in the White House. When I finally got to watch a replay of Obama’s speech in my hotel room late last night, it occurred to me that it’s those people who were actually the big winners in this election. Why? Because a lot of them are going to wake up a year from now and realize not a whole lot has changed. And quietly, when no one’s looking, they’re going to relax a little.

Joe Klein:

It may no longer be as dominant, economically or diplomatically, as it once was. But it is younger, more optimistic, less cynical. It is a country that retains its ability to startle the world… and in a good way, with our freedom. It is a place, finally, where the content of our President’s character is more important than the color of his skin.

To: Barack Obama, From: Alice Walker:

I would advise you to remember that you did not create the disaster that the world is experiencing, and you alone are not responsible for bringing the world back to balance.

10 different writers and thinkers offer their thoughts:

5. I hereby order that “mandate” immediately be stricken from all the dictionaries and vocabularies of every Democrat in the country. That dirty word has no place in a democracy. That said, feel free to use the phrase, “Wow, we kicked some ass.”

Kevin Phillips and Bill Moyers.

Henry Louis Gates, Jr:

My colleagues and I laughed and shouted, whooped and hollered, hugged each other and cried. My father waited 95 years to see this day happen, and when he called as results came in, I silently thanked God for allowing him to live long enough to cast his vote for the first black man to become president. And even he still can’t quite believe it!

Paul Rieckhoff:

But a smiling picture of the Secretary on the wall of the VA building isn’t going to make a difference alone. Here are the three critical policies veterans need to see from the new President in his first 100 days:
1. Advance-Fund VA Health Care
2. Implement GI Bill Transferability
3. Issue a National Call for Mental Health Experts–and back it up with incentives

U.S. Troops react:

Strict military rules that keep partisan debates private could not hide many soldiers’ intense interest in Tuesday’s election.

Great round up of soldiers’ reactions to the campaign/election:

For many of the soldiers who’ve spent the last year deployed, the campaign has not nearly been as high-profile as it’s been for those of us on the home front. Soldiers I spoke to in Iraq this summer cited their long work hours and sometimes spotty Internet access as hampering their abilities to follow politics. If those of us at home now have some idea of who the real Barack Obama is, they may not — but their lives may depend his actions as president.

Jonah Goldberg:

It is a wonderful thing to have the first African-American president. It is a wonderful thing that in a country where feelings are so intense that power can be transferred so peacefully.

Blacks respond:

Many across the country said they realize that the election of a single man does not obliterate the complex tensions of race, let alone the myriad problems facing the country.

Round up of reactions from the 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th, 9th and 10th.

Wick Allison endorses! As did many other Republicans. A Conservative for Obama:

This kind of conservatism, which is not conservative at all, has produced financial mismanagement, the waste of human lives, the loss of moral authority, and the wreckage of our economy that McCain now threatens to make worse.

Gawker dropped the snark for a second, (PS Nick Denton cried):

Obama will be the first to tell you that he ain’t no Jesus, black or otherwise. But tonight, we say without snark: we feel hopeful.

The Right says, Obama seems great, but we still don’t know who he is or if we can trust him.

It is here, though, that Obama, at least for one night, was at his most gracious. He addressed himself directly to us… to conservatives and other skeptical Americans who opposed him, often stridently…Which is right? We don’t know, or at least I certainly don’t know. But I admit to worrying.

Barry Eisler:

P.S. With the election done and another novel deadline approaching, I’m going to try hard to get my blogging addiction a little more under control. We’ll see if my efforts are successful.

Kathryn Jean Lopez doesn’t care that everyone is excited. She, for one, will not get fooled! But, Kathryn Jean Lopez is, you know, an idiot.

Colin Powell

Robert Draper at GQ:

Bush did not make a serious effort to unite the country. Nor has he seemed particularly conscious of this failure…Instead, as he told me once, “I’m a results-oriented kind of guy.” Well, the results are in. America is far more divided now than when Bush first took office. He now maintains that divisiveness is the residue of a leader making tough decisions for the future benefit of the country. George W. Bush wouldn’t have bought that line of reasoning in 2000, and most of us don’t buy it now.

I am on record as flamboyantly anti-Ralph Nader, but he surprised even me with his classlessness as he wondered whether Obama would be Uncle Sam or Uncle Tom. I just want him to go away. In any case, Ralph Nader is, you know, an idiot.

A Gen X response:

Suddenly it makes sense, what you’ve been trying to tell us about John F. Kennedy and Martin Luther King Jr. Sure, we knew all about their roles in history, we’d learned about them in a million classes, through countless books and documentaries. Eventually, though, the endless memorials and tributes and TV specials and Oliver Stone films grew a little tedious. We didn’t quite understand why you’ve never let those two go, why you’d speak so relentlessly about a better time…And in 15 years, our kids probably won’t understand it when we talk about the night that Obama was elected president, either. They’ll sigh deeply and roll their eyes and say they’ve heard this story a million times before, so please shut up about it already. They’ll purse their lips and think about how our hair looks stupid and we smell like old cheese.

Which is the reason I’m doing this, they might not understand, but I want to remember.

Roger Angell:

I belong to what has sometimes been called “the Greatest Generation.” If most of us have felt uncomfortable about the honor, it may be because we’ve known that in some ways we haven’t been all that great. The election of Barack Obama as President could mean that all of us in the United States belong to the Greatest Generation now, and though this astounding event seems to have happened all of a sudden, for some people my age it wasn’t soon enough.

Conservatives are worried, though, I’m not sure why, they haven’t had a true conservative (in the small government way) in the White House since, well, I don’t know.

If Barack Obama wins the presidency tonight, as seems very likely, what should conservatives fear most about his administration?

George Packer:

The indelible memory from last night, for me, will always be the First Family-elect, resplendent in black and red, walking almost a little shyly onstage, as if it was just then dawning on them what has happened, and waving to the delirious tens of thousands in Grant Park. And my son will grow up not thinking it remarkable to have a black family in the White House.

Glenn Greenwald on why it was important:

Court watchers almost unanimously believe that those first two Justices — John Paul Stevens and Ruth Bader Ginsberg — are certain to leave the court at some point over the next four years, while the third — David Souter — is highly likely to do so. To understand why that matters so much, just consider that all three of those justices were in very precarious, narrow majorities in crucial decisions.

Salon argues that we could be at the dawn of the Fourth Republic, but doesn’t predict what could happen in that Republic.

The final president of a republic tends to be a failed, despised figure. The First Republic, which began with George Washington, ended with James Buchanan, a hapless president who refused to act as the South seceded after Lincoln’s election. The Second Republic, which began with Abraham Lincoln, ended with the well-meaning but reviled and ineffectual Herbert Hoover. The Third Republic, founded by Franklin Roosevelt, came to a miserable end under the pathetic George W. Bush.

“This is a victory not for one man or one party, but for opportunity itself.”

Martin Luther King, Jr., who helped start the campaign that made this possible, used to note progress in Birmingham by telling supporters of a former slave who once said: “We ain’t what ought to be, and we ain’t what we want to be and we ain’t what we’re going to be. But thank God, we ain’t what we was.’ That’s a useful assessment of the nation’s progress as well.

More than 35 one sentence responses to what the victory meant from thinkers:

It means the 9/11 era — of dealing with the world 9/11 created rather than using 9/11 as a political club — has finally begun. -Brad DeLong

David Sirota:

As someone who both strongly advocated for Obama in the primary and general election, and also questioned him on some of his policy positions, I think that (despite the naysaying of some partisans) support and pressure can be as complimentary as the carrot and stick. Indeed, I think real movements and concrete change come only with both. Yet, I also believe that we should make sure the pressure we harness is the kind that assumes that Obama is at minimum trying to act in good faith for progressive goals, at least until he gives us clear reason to believe otherwise.

Naomi Klein:

That, for me, was D.C. last night. Of course the dynamics of wealth and privilege that define the city are still intact. But for one night the people holding open the doors were a hell of a lot happier than the ones walking through them.

Gawker had taken a break from the snark but it didn’t last long:

Now we have a snark-break hangover.

Mark Cuban:

It’s simple. Having an elected black President will do more to energize this country than any economic or social policy ever could. In a single day of voting, our amazing country once again reinvigorated the dream that any child in this country, no matter what circumstances they are born into, can grow up to be anything they want, including President of the United States.

Steven Johnson, author of Ghost World and Everything Bad is Good for You says The System Worked:

It starts for me with Bush’s approval rating. You run the country with breathtaking incompetence for eight years; you defy the constitution and the Geneva Conventions; you let an entire city drown; you fail to ask for an inch of sacrifice from the rich during the greatest concentration of wealth in our country’s history. You do all those things, and it turns out the American people pay attention: you become the least popular president since the invention of polling.

Garrison Keillor loves Michelle:

One bright light in the marquee is Michelle Obama, that witty, jumpy woman with the quicksilver smile.

Actually, everybody loves Michelle:

Like everyone else, I was unimpressed by the Election Night dress — possibly just because the cardigan threw off the look. (However, having been in Grant Park Tuesday night, I can’t blame her for that. Beautiful as the weather was for the time of year, I was happy to have my fleece after the sun went down. And I can admire practical sartorial choices as much as daring ones — which might be why Hillary’s pantsuits never bothered me.)” Michele is smart and people like her clothes.

What we know and what we don’t about our new American era

Perhaps history itself demanded that we pass through the pain and humiliation of the Bush era in order to merit the relief granted by this election. We have been forced to suffer through the most vile of administrations, one that has shown total disdain for the Constitution, for the rule of law, for basic humanity. And this is the second most important takeaway from the election. After nearly three decades in which the power structure pandered to, exploited, refined and capitalized on all the worst of our collective base instincts, along comes a candidate who speaks only to our most humane and compassionate side. That says something striking about Barack Obama. And it says even more about the American people. It’s one more victory we shouldn’t hesitate to claim.

I was struck by how Fox News seemed to be the first to call a lot of the states for one candidate or another.

But in general, the Fox team displayed an oddly jolly professionalism. They seemed determined to take their medicine, with the stick-to-itiveness of a losing football team dreaming of bright days far in the future or the past (and the near certainty that their core audience was going to bed, by the millions, in despair). Though it went briefly wobbly on Ohio, Fox didn’t really show any particular reluctance to call states for Obama, and after New Hampshire (at 8:11) and Pennsylvania (at 8:30), its commentators quit pretending there was any serious doubt about the outcome and began arguing about what kind of president Obama would be — and what kind of country he was inheriting from you-know-who.

And watch Juan Williams’ response. I’ll always remember people on TV getting choked up (and Jesse Jackson’s tears) the same way I remember Peter Jennings mussiness on 9/11.


Because all Americans, white and black, liberal and conservative, are brought up to believe that their country is different, special, the “greatest nation on earth,” a “city on a hill.” We are all taught that our system is just, our laws are fair, our Constitution is something to be proud of. Lately, though, this self-image has taken a battering. We are fighting two wars, neither with remarkable success. We have just experienced a cataclysmic financial crisis. We are about to enter a recession. We are unloved around the world, and we know it. Electing our first black president won’t by itself solve any of these problems, but—to use the pop-psychological language for which Americans are justly famous—it sure makes us feel good about ourselves. That hysteria you saw on television in Chicago was, yes, partly about the return of the Democrats and partly about the passing of George Bush. As the rain-on-the-parade dispensers of sour grapes are already writing, it was absolutely about ideology, too. But it was also about relief: We really are a land of opportunity!

Elections have consequences:

Barack Obama’s decisive defeat of John McCain is the most important victory of a Democratic candidate since 1932. It brings to a close another conservative era, one that rose amid the ashes of the New Deal coalition in the late sixties, consolidated its power with the election of Ronald Reagan, in 1980, and immolated itself during the Presidency of George W. Bush.

Cory Booker:

Obama’s commitment to changing the narrative of American cities is critical to our nation’s success.

Jezebel got into it with a round up of 12 columnists:

Obama, something of a re-founding father, now joins the pantheon of white men who have cast a bright light or negative shadow over the nation’s political landscape. His interpretation of America’s ideals and destiny will enliven the creeds that have shaped the nation’s self-image.


No matter who you voted for, no matter how you feel about Barack Obama, this is a day to celebrate our country’s soul.

Andrew Sullivan collected some conservative reactions, including this one from Ross Douthat:

And then, of course, there’s the fact that Obama has just been elected President of a nation in which he could have been bought and sold as a slave just seven generations ago. I don’t think there are any words adequate to the occasion of America electing its first black President, so I’ll just say this: This may be a bleak day for the Republican Party and for conservatism, but come what may in the years ahead, it’s a great day for our country. Barack Obama deserves congratulations, tonight, but so does the nation he’s about to govern: We’ve come a long, long way.

He also threw some non-conservatives into this one, too. Reading as much commentary from the right as I did, I recognized a split in the conventional wisdom, some saying Obama doesn’t stand for anything and America voted for his words and rhetoric, some saying he does stand for things and American voters were fooled, and a few like Ross Douthat above who say, graciously, it’s great to be in America and witness this, congrats Barack Obama.

This is America, so of course we care how celebrities respond. Their opinions shouldn’t matter any more than any one else’s, but it’s still interesting to see what they say.

You know how I love Will Smith, right? Well here he is on Oprah

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar:

It is now possible for young people of color to aspire to the highest goals attainable in American society — a truly remarkable development.

Reactions from many notable blacks, including Spike Lee from The Daily Beast

The past eight years showed us that this is not the best America can be. Now we can finally throw the bums out and move in a different direction.

Christopher Buckley:

Meanwhile, Mr. President-elect, my warmest congratulations. You make me – this is absurd, my eyes are watering – proud to be an American.

A series of…interviews with the operatives, handlers, true believers, celebrities, and warriors behind…presidential race.”

Round up of celebrity reactions:

Still, the whispers that Barack had this thing in the bag made people more socially adventurous tonight-at least in New York. The question became not whether O would clinch it, but where exactly you would be when he did…because if you’re going to be telling the story to your grandchildren anyways, it would be nice if the details involved celebrities or champagne (or at least someone to make out with).

Evan Handler (Who? Oh yeah, the bald guy from Sex and the City):

But in his unabashed belief in education over glorified ignorance, in wisdom over warmongering, in humanism over denominational hubris, in effort over expedience, and in service over self-interest Barack Obama is the first president in my lifetime who resembles me and the people I know.

Alec Baldwin:

The greatest thing we can do now, those of us who support Obama, is hold him to the same standards to which we held Bush.

Russell Simmons:

I don’t think I’m overstating it when I say that today, I feel like America has dodged a bullet.

Toni Morrison and Jane Smiley:

And I had read his first book. I was astonished by his ability to write, to think, to reflect, to learn and turn a good phrase. I was very impressed. This was not a normal political biography.

Plus Jamie Lee Curtis, John Cusack, Harry Shearer, Sean Penn and another round up or two of celebrity reactions and links.

Back to Original

Celebrate! – A run down of the celebrations.
WINS! – A list of 38 sites and their winning posts.
Winners and Losers – 18 lists of election winners and losers.
Turnout, Voting, and Polling – Articles and stories about voting, polling, and turn out.
Reactions – Reactions from the world, pundits, and celebrities.
How Obama Won – Some thoughts on how Obama won.
Why McCain Lost – Some thoughts on why McCain lost and what next for the GOP.
Expectations and Advice – There are a lot of people with expectations and a lot of people with advice.
Race – Obviously electing the first black president is going to bring up comments on race.
Money and Business – What will the impact on your money and you business be?
The Media – Without the media, wherever would we be!?
Humor – Without the humor, wherever would we be!?
Miscellaneous – Without the miscellaneous, wherever would we be!?
Personal Stories from Friends – Just what it says.
273 Status Political Status Messages in 27 Hours – Just what it says.
Via – Here’s a list of all the sites I used in putting this together – the sources.

Comprehensive Election Reactions Round Up – A Reference – Reactions

12 thoughts on “Comprehensive Election Reactions Round Up – A Reference – Reactions

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