Election Day

Trip Start Jul 2008
Trip End Dec 2008

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Flag of Turkey  ,
Tuesday, November 4, 2008

As you may have gathered by now bill and I generally travel without a strict agenda. but today is the first tuesday in november so we actually did have a goal = find a place to stay with cable and at least one English news station. up to now that has never been a problem as most hotels have either cnn or bbc or the English Aljazeera. Usually we dont really care if a place has tv or not. Unfortunately the first time we actually DID care was the first time we ended up at a place without any Englęsh news.

this was a little disappointing as we had gone to a great deal of trouble to vote from turkey. but such is life.

So we ended up watching the news about the US Presidential elections in turkęsh. now I WAS impressed how much coverage there was about the election. Most stations mentioned it frequently and some were covering it exclusively (no other programming). I guess this should not have been so surprising since turks seem to really enjoy discussing politics. but it was also a reminder just how much the rest of the world watches US politics.

However turkęsh news coverage tends towards discussion and commentary. Lots and lots of it. Very few graphs or figures or even the occasional number to distract the viewer. In contrast US news LOVES graphs and figures and maps. the former may be better for understanding the issues (if you understand the language) but the latter would have been better for understanding who the heck was ahead. So while dozens of analysts on several stations discussed first the candidates and then the returns we had no idea how things were actually going. Water water everywhere and not a drop to drink!

We got up a couple times during the night (daytime in the US) and found continued coverage and commentary even at 2 am. but it was not until about 6 am that it seemed quite clear that Obama had won and then at 7 am we watched - along with millions of people around the world - as he took the stage.

It was a moving moment and I feel very hopeful that our country and the world will be better off for his leadership in the challenging times that lay ahead.
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