Longer View


On this extraordinary post-election morning, spare a thought for those of us in a European time zone. While CNN commentators were lamenting that they were up well past their bedtimes, the clock in London was ticking past 3am, 4am, 5am and 6am. So the World Link office is understandably bleary eyed today.

The web should be a perfect medium for a constantly changing story like this US election. But on the morning after (and there may be several mornings after at this rate), the main political websites are, frankly, disappointing. As noted in yesterday’s weblog, The Washington Post gets a lot right with its OnPolitics section. The detailed breakdowns provide easy access to the latest Florida counts — which is all that matters at the moment. But shouldn’t it be a source of embarrassment that the Channel Surfer still declares a Bush victory, when the main site has — of course — updated to make clear that no verdict can yet be given?

What’s missing from everywhere is compelling analysis of what is going on and what happened. Perhaps this is understandable in the absence of a result, but it is also a reflection that all of the interesting pundits either missed their deadlines or were too tired to put fingers to keyboard last night. World Link may provide a later update, but we’ll probably plead the same exhaustion.

The longer view
There is, however, good analysis on the end of the Clinton era. The recently relaunched Foreign Policy has an excellent summing up of Clinton’s achievements in foreign policy. Its conclusion: “Bill Clinton might have helped usher in the age of global interdependence, but it will be incumbent upon his successors to make globalization sustainable.”