In 2004, I was in America – traveling by road between Las Vegas and the Georgia coast – when Barack Obama made his ‘no blue states, no red states’ keynote at that year’s Democratic convention. I’d never been that Hilary Clinton had much chance in ’08 or any other future year, but then and there you already knew she had another problem.
During the same visit, we were chatting to a young black girl, our waitress, about why I thought America was in a bunch of ways better than the UK. My dad summarised it best: “he thinks there’s more opportunity here.” The girl looked at me as if I was stone cold crazy.
As much as Obama will certainly disappoint almost everyone for one reason or another, as all politicians do; as much as he swept the electoral college without quite sweeping the nation; and as much as the passing of Prop 8 sours the ‘liberalisation of America’ narrative: I sort of hope that, wherever she is today, that waitress wouldn’t pull so funny a face at my naivety.