The US Election is almost upon us – inconveniently timetabled for the middle of the exam period (!) – meaning the seemingly interminable battle for President (of the great state of Ohio) is nearly over. Along with Xi Jinping’s impending confirmation as Chinese President, the two top jobs in IR are close to being filled.
Media coverage – from both the ‘lame-stream’, hang-wringing liberal Left and the reality-distorting, cognitively-dissonant Right (led, of course, by the Tea Party’s cheerleaders-in-chief, Fox News) – has been unrelenting in its mud-slinging, nit-picking and general misinformation-peddling…making the race for the White House utterly compelling viewing.
Both Presidential candidates are expected to raise more than US$1b each in campaign finances (what recession?) so whoever ends up taking the Presidential oath – it will really be a win for the Almighty dollar. The exorbitant outlays of the Super PACs, not policies or buzzwords, will have bought the keys to the Oval Office.
We should know the election’s outcome sometime on Wednesday (NZT) but there’s always the possibility, in the event of a deadlock, that armies of lawyers will be called upon à la Bush Jnr vs. Gore  to determine whether Obama or Romney will be ‘the leader of the free world’.
And, although the incumbent holds a narrow lead in the polls at the moment – the vagaries of US electoral politics could alarmingly pair a Republican President Mitt ‘Romnesia’ Romney with ‘Regular Joe’ Biden as his Democratic Veep.
Whatever happens it seems most members of the international community want Barack Obama to get four more years. Even if the 44th POTUS has somehow found the time to ‘engage’ in multiple extra-curricular activities…
With the 2012 campaign veering from absurdity to absurdity (Big Bird-bashing, Donald Trump, Hurricane Sandy etc.), maybe it’s best to leave it to the yellow denizens of Springfield to offer their unique take on democracy in the land of the free and the home of the brave…