November 5th, 2008
04:43 PM ET

Arabs extend warm "marhaba" to Obama

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Octavia Nasr
CNN Arab Affairs Editor

The Arab world watched the US elections with much interest and a high level of conviction that the outcome will give them a crystal ball view into the future of relations between their countries and the United States of America.

On Arab media, on the streets, in chat rooms and in cafes, most Arabs were rooting for Barack Obama. Some say they were energized by Obama’s message, others blame what they call the failed Bush policies in the region and the fear that McCain will follow the same path. So, as soon as the announcement of Barack Obama’s victory came out, many people across the Middle East jumped for joy. The congratulatory commentaries also flew on FaceBook and other social networking sites.

Arab satellite channels gave their viewers a front seat view of the elections with explanations, guests and analysis. One thing commentators and ordinary citizens agreed on is that if the US chooses an African-American for president, they will usher in a true new era where “America will be preaching the same brands of democracy, tolerance and freedom it lives first at home.”

Now that the first test is over, on to the burning issues that President-elect Barack Obama receives from his predecessor. In one analyst’s words, “Obama has bought what Bush broke.” The “inherited” challenges are many and they’re serious, some even think they’re insurmountable. They can be broken down into what Arab media call “the hot files.”


Filed under: Barack Obama • Octavia Nasr • Raw Politics
November 5th, 2008
04:30 PM ET

Michelle Obama: America’s Next First Lady

Erica Hill
AC360 ° Correspondent

Imagine what this morning must have been like for the Obamas. Did Michelle Obama wake up, turn to her husband and say, “Good morning, Mr. President?” Were they even able to sleep? Have Malia and Sasha already logged on to their local shelter’s website to find their new dog (yes, I am unabashedly lobbying for the new First Family to rescue that puppy!)? When does the reality of what just happened sink in? Every First Family must have that “Oh my goodness, WE DID IT!” feeling, coupled with a tinge of disbelief… and relief. Oh, to be a fly on the wall in those moments!

Of course, the “sinking-in” time is short-lived. Before lunchtime today, word came that the President-elect’s first top secret intelligence briefing has already been scheduled for tomorrow. Last night, before Grant Park had cleared out, I was assigned a piece on what kind of First Lady Michelle Obama will be, and I wasn’t alone. In The New York Post’s story this morning, we were told Mrs. Obama will bring “glamour” to the White House; The Times in the UK paints Michelle Obama as a “new type of First Lady”, who is “supportive, independent and a fashion icon.” The Reuters headline reads “Michelle Obama: new style of First Lady”.

It’s interesting that so many stories about Michelle Obama make mention of her fashion sense. Yes, she has brought great style to the campaign trail and will likely continue to be a trendsetter in the White House, not unlike Jackie Kennedy. We know she shops at the mall stores many other American moms frequent: JCrew and White House/ Black Market. But there’s more to Michelle Obama than her shopping habits. For a glimpse of the kind of First Lady she will be, we should be turning to her style as a daughter, a wife, and a mother.


Filed under: Erica Hill • Michelle Obama • Raw Politics
November 5th, 2008
03:35 PM ET

The Joshua Generation

David Gergen
AC360° Contributor
CNN Senior Political Analyst

I went back to look at the last speech that Martin Luther King gave in 1968, the day before he was assassinated.

King said, “I just want to do God's will. He's allowed me to go up to the mountain and I’ve looked over and I’ve seen the promise land. I may not get there with you, but I want you to know tonight we as a people will get to the promise land.”

It seems to me that for an awful lot of people in this country, especially for African Americans, Barack Obama has said that he's part of the Joshua Generation. Martin Luther King was our Moses. We haven't ended our prejudice, but there's something about this evening and election that has made an awful lot of people feel this is the Joshua Generation, we can do something we thought we could never reach 30, 40, 50 years ago.

November 5th, 2008
03:31 PM ET

Anderson talks with will.i.am via hologram

Singer will.i.am talks with CNN's Anderson Cooper about his impact on Sen. Barack Obama's campaign.

Filed under: Barack Obama • Hologram • Raw Politics • will.i.am
November 5th, 2008
03:16 PM ET

Kremlin congratulates Obama

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Matthew Chance
CNN Senior International Correspondent, Moscow

A simple congratulations would have been sufficient. It was enough for the Chinese president, the British prime minister, the German chancellor. But the Kremlin just couldn't resist.

In his first state of the nation speech - timed to coincide with the US presidential election result - Russia's own youthful president launched what can only be described as a scathing attack on American policy.

Dmitry Medvedev blamed Washington for the global financial crisis, the recent war in the former Soviet republic of Georgia, and for provoking Moscow over missile defense in eastern Europe.

None of it was particularly new (though the announcement that short range missiles would be deployed in a Russian enclave in europe was a little disturbing), but the timing of this latest tirade was, at the very least, provocative.


Filed under: Barack Obama • Matthew Chance • Raw Politics
November 5th, 2008
03:13 PM ET

Remembering the millions of Americans who just lost their rights

Editor's Note: You can read more Lisa Bloom blogs on In Session”

Lisa Bloom
AC360° Contributor
In Session Anchor

YES WE DID!, I wrote in giant letters on my Facebook page on election night, tears in my eyes as I watched Barack Obama’s inspiring acceptance speech. Every moment of it was so moving. And when I heard my African-American friends talk about the symbolism of this day, that they can look into their children’s eyes and honestly say that we are all now truly equal – well, as a lifelong civil rights activist, I thought, it has happened. We shall overcome, not someday, but today.

Martin Luther King, Jr. said the night before he was assassinated, “And I've seen the promised land. I may not get there with you. But I want you to know tonight, that we, as a people will get to the promised land.” Hallelujah, I thought, we have arrived. Free at last, free at last.

Then I remembered my gay friends, who faced ugly ballot measures in four states. The California Supreme Court just last May issued a landmark ruling that gay people were entitled to equal marriage rights. My mother, Gloria Allred, was one of the lead attorneys in that case. I remembered Del Martin and Phyllis Lyons, together for 55 years, who were the first couple married after that decision, one in a wheelchair, the other walking slowly to the altar. “At our age,” they said, “we don’t have the luxury of time.” I remembered that on the day of that decision, citizens of San Francisco’s Castro District took down their rainbow flags and flew American flags. “For the first time in my life,” they told me, “I feel like a full citizen. I can tell my children that in the eyes of the law I am just as worthy as anyone else.” I remembered riding in Santa Monica’s gay pride parade alongside my mother in June, getting mobbed by thousands of ordinary people who were grateful that she had won for them the extraordinary privilege of simple respect.

November 5th, 2008
03:08 PM ET

The Success of hope

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Liz Chadderdon
Democratic Strategist

Campaigns are all about emotions. They are not rationale or logical and voters, despite their best protestations, don’t make their choice based on the “issues.”

People vote based on how they “feel.” You hear it in focus groups all the time: “I just like him” or “She is just like me” or “He scares me.” You rarely hear “I disagree with his vote on the bankruptcy bill.”

People vote on emotion because they are consumers and consumers make every purchase based on emotion – does this product make me feel better, smarter, prettier and/or richer.

This is why negative political ads work. They prey on the easiest emotions to illicit in people – fear and anger.


Filed under: Barack Obama • Raw Politics
November 5th, 2008
02:00 PM ET

Seeing is believing

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/11/05/art.newseum.jpg caption="People line up to see world headlines touting President-Elect Barack Obama's victory outside the Newseum in Washington, D.C."]

Jill Dougherty | Bio
U.S. Affairs Correspondent

The sun is up on a new and different America and people are moving slowly along the front of the Newseum, the sleek new museum of journalism, reading newspaper front pages from around the world. The Newseum gets 600 of them every day, via internet, in PDF form. They print them up the size of real newspapers and post approximately 80 of them in glass-covered cases in front of the building and inside.

This morning the headlines are huge and so are the color photos: “It’s Obama” the Chicago Tribune trumpets. “Obama Makes History” exclaims the Washington Post. “Change has come,” announces the Cleveland Plain Dealer. There’s a frontpage from South Korea, from Germany, from Brazil and if there’s one word you can find in almost every story it’s “historic.”

An African-American grandmother approaches with her young granddaughter, pointing and explaining what happened last night. A man from Asia walks along, snapping pictures of every single headline. A college girl with blond hair poses in front of one of the newspapers, smiling and flashing a thumbs up.


Filed under: Jill Dougherty • Raw Politics
November 5th, 2008
01:59 PM ET

Back to you in the studio, William Shatner

Jack Gray
AC360 Associate Producer 

So I was talking to a woman on the subway this morning, via hologram of course.  What, you actually still talk to people in person?  You are so November 3rd.   Anyway, no, I told her – there is no truth to the rumor that the Obamas are going to name their new dog Jeremiah Hussein Ayers.  Although I do think that’d be a cute name for a Beagle.

Anyway, it’s finally over.  Now can we please get back to the important things? I know I’m not the only one who wants an update on the singing career of Elliot Spitzer’s favorite prostitute.

Oh right, there’s the whole transition thing.  The time-honored prelude to the peaceful handover of power.  And by prelude I mean making sure the new president will have enough staplers.

Then, of course, President-elect Obama has to choose his cabinet.  Note to self:  No need to refill Ambien prescription for the week John Kerry has his Secretary of State confirmation hearings.

For his part, John McCain will humbly return to the Senate.  And then to his seven homes and thirteen cars.

The best thing about being president, I think, is all the cool modes of transportation.  Like Marine One, the presidential helicopter.  Which is almost as nice as the helicopter Anderson takes to work everyday.


Filed under: Barack Obama • Jack Gray • Joe Biden • John McCain • Raw Politics • Sarah Palin
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