Wednesday, November 03, 2004

3 November 2004: CNN

I'd love to have had the benefit of CNN's election coverage last night.

Apparantly, sometime around 1.30am Pacific Time (quite some time after it became clear what the result would be), Aaron Brown was shouting at anchor Wolf Blitzer for the hundredth time about how he enjoyed hearing the networks all say "we just don't know". Larry King, braces and heavy specs still intact, sighed deeply and said: "It's really late. I'm going home to bed." And with that, he got up from his desk, took his mic and ear-piece off, and walked off the set.

This is reported second-hand, however, due to the fact that we don't have CNN at my house - I'm instead relying on the KFOG morning show for my accuracy. Still, I somehow can't see any of the BBC doing that -- not outside of the Monty Python 'Election Night Special' sketch, where John Cleese gives a series of pointless results in a breathless rush of noise before pausing, breathing heavily, and then saying: "Oh, I don't want to do this any more. I'm bored." And walking off the set. David Dimbleby wouldn't do that, he's too nice. Peter Snow wouldn't, he's too excited at the best of times. Paxman might, I suppose. But in reality the nearest we have to Larry King here in the UK is David Frost, and he'd be tucked up in bed by that stage anyway.

Come next May (or February, if you believe the latest reports), we'll find out for sure. Unless he's forced out by the Labour Party, Blair will win a third term, with a reduced majority. It's not even going to be very close. And no matter how much Peter Snow jumps around with his swing-o-meter and how much Paxman tries to get Michael Howard to admit he's got to resign on the spot, it just won't seem edgy or genuine.

So respect to Larry King, one commentator who says - and does - exactly what he thinks.

Oh yes, what do I think of the result? *Shrugs* I'm not a Bush fan, and that's entirely because of his foreign policy. But the American people get to choose, and this time they've chosen a guy who won both the popular vote and the electoral college, both by some distance. At least he's got a decent mandate this time. Maybe he'll quieten down in the second term, or maybe he'll go for Iran next, followed by Syria. We'll see. One thing it does clear the way for is a straight John Edwards v Hillary Clinton run for the Democrats in 2008, perhaps running against Rudy Giuliani in the final race?

We'll see who PNAC can come up with over the next four years.

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