So after two years of build-up, the moment of truth arrived as America went to the polling stations. Here in England, I headed down to Yates’ bar in Leicester Square, London to watch US ex-pats and politically-aware revellers get down to some serious Wolf-Blitzing…
Despite everyone knowing in their hearts how it was going to end, no-one wanted to jinx the result so despite the crowds being massively biased towards Obama, there were no signs of celebration at the start of the evening.
While CNN managed to overcomplicate matters in a way only the US networks can by introducing complex predictions and general waffle, the introduction of the worlds first holographic link certainly caused a massive cheer through the venue. Having watched CNN for hours, it was such a pleasure to go to the BBC website and just see the facts minus predictions, theories and saturated graphics. It must be said however that everything does feel a little hollow without a holographic Huw Edwards now..
Eventually though, even Fox News (which was booed when it was announced that it would be broadcast in the smaller room) couldn’t escape the facts that McCain was in real trouble as more states fell to Obama. By now it was 3am in the UK and chairs had become the most valuable commodity known to man in the bar.
Finally at 4:01am, the result that nearly everyone had been waiting for was announced and the die-hard revellers could leave the bar knowing that whatever their political leanings, they’d just watched history being made.
For some though, like the Isle of Wight festival in 1970, if you can remember it, you weren’t really there. One night is a long time in politics.