An American Election Abroad
Part one: changes bring new hope to the Old World
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Here in Boston, the drama of November 4, 2008, was (mostly) over by 11 p.m., when one television network after another called the presidential election for Barack Obama. But for hundreds of Boston University students studying in Europe, the election was an all-night party with America as its theme. London pubs became American-style “bars,” serving hot dogs and Budweiser. Posh Geneva hotels featured country music and mechanical bulls. Televisions from Dresden to Madrid were tuned to CNN from the moment the polls started closing (around midnight in most cities) until Obama was declared the winner, shortly before dawn.
And while almost half of all U.S. voters (46 percent) checked their ballot for John McCain, there seemed to be no such political split in Obama-crazy Europe. And despite the tongue-in-cheek nature of the “America” conjured up by overseas entertainment spots, the BU students who took part in the festivities say Europeans were as interested in the election’s outcome as any American they know.
“Everyone I talked to, I wouldn’t say envied the American system, but loved it,” says Dan Weber (CAS’09), who spent last semester interning for a member of the British Parliament in London. On Friday, January 16, BU Today will feature individual election night stories from BU study-abroad students.2 Comments