On The 2012 U.S. Elections Night

by Guinandra Jatikusumo

For me, the U.S. Elections Night (or Elections Breakfast; we are around 8 hours ahead of Uncle Sam), was different than it was four years ago. Back in 2008, I lived in a semi-military dorm with limited access to live international news. I remember having problems connecting to the WiFi network just to follow updates by the NYTimes.

Being a college student at an American institution, located in the United Arab Emirates, with +-300 students from 89 countries constituting the student body, things are more lively now. I slept around 1:30 AM and woke up at 4:30 AM to see on whose shoulders America decides to put their hopes and weights. My colleagues and I went to Beach Rotana hotel to attend the Elections Breakfast organized by the American Chamber of Commerce. Ambassador Michael Corbin, U.S. government officials, and foreign representatives to the UAE were there as well.

It was great. The group of NYU Abu Dhabi students I went with was diverse, as usual: social conservatives and liberals, fiscal hawks and doves, Americans and non-Americans. Watching them arguing against Anderson Cooper and teasing Fox News anchors while munching rice crispy cereals, at 6 AM in the morning, was such an eccentric experience. We had a special session with Ambassador Corbin (who clarified that he’s a career ambassador, not an ambassador appointed by the Democrats) during which some of us were busy looking at our Twitter feeds for updates. Sorry Your Excellency–we just could not let a tiny second of updates slip away.

Inside the ballroom, there were around 10-15 TV screens and two large projector screens. When Ohio was announced as a blue state, our eyes were locked at state of Florida. Florida, one of the swing states, was unsurprisingly a close race. Obama eventually won with a statistically small margin, to the chagrin of my Republican friends. Also, unexpectedly, Romney did not win the popular votes.

In the end, Fox News announced that Obama is re-elected, followed by CNN. Yes, Fox News did it first. The re-elected president will once again lead America with a Republican-dominated congress and a non-filibuster-proof Senate. Tough job indeed. We wish you good luck, Mr. President. And congratulations, the U.S. of America.

Irrelevant notes: 1) Coldplay’s concert film will be out on November 19th. Better check the schedule of your local cinemas now. 2) You should all listen to Lea Salonga’s ‘Sun and Moon’ and be enchanted. 3) I’ve been wondering–who will replace Secretary Clinton position, now that she’s about to leave?