Often surprises me how quickly US political talk seems to turn to the apocalyptic themes, 'who do we bomb/attack/censure next' - some Diplomacy might make a pleasant change. A bit of "Jaw-Jaw" rather than instinctively resorting to "War-War" as Churchill might have put it. 'The End is Nigh!' tone often struck seems somewhat hysterical to the external observer. As SW mentions; it's a common political maxim that nobody wins an election - the previous bunch lose it. Speaking from outside the country in question I reckon neither Mcain or Obama could possibly have been worse than the previous incumbent for the US's international reputation, both of 'em looked like a serious upgrade. The Bush Years have eroded my personal feelings for the external actions of the US Government from 'generally positive' to 'immense distrust'. I hope this situation is reversed in the coming years and the country's viewed once again as more reasoned in it's actions, particularly by it's natural allies who have become increasingly alienated and bemused at many decisions taken - a country that used to be perceived abroad as a firm & fair friend is often seen of late as more of a bully, even in quarters that previously were very much pro-US. Good luck to him, big job - sincerely hope he makes a decent fist of it. (Providing some loony doesn't shoot him first for having the temerity to be a black President.) Cheers, Adam.