Tuesday, November 04, 2008

How Long Will It Take The Chinese To Tell An American Who Is President?

With an obvious Obama victory only hours away, representatives of both the traditional and new media are making it clear that they will not hesitate to project the winner early on election night.

Here is what CBS News is saying...

We could know Virginia at 7. We could know Indiana before 8. We could know Florida at 8. We could know Pennsylvania at 8. We could know the whole story of the election with those results.

Slate has put it somewhat more colorfully...

Our readers are not stupid, and we shouldn't engage in a weird Kabuki drama that pretends McCain could win California and thus the presidency.

What all of this means for us here in Beijing is that when we wake up Wednesday morning, it won't be long before the result begins to circulate. Now, as it turns out, Desi and I will be heading out on a date right after the kids leave for school at 7 am. We will be moving around the city right as the race is called.

So here is our little experiment. At what time will the news reach our ears that Obama has been elected president? Indeed, how long will it take the Chinese to tell these two Americans who their new leader is?

My sense is that there is much greater uncertainty over the timing of this event than over the calling of the election itself. So for those of you itching to stay up late election night, stay tuned...



At 6:17 AM, Blogger Macefamily said...

But more importantly, did you guys send in your absentee votes? I was online at 5:50 this morning and there was atleast 20 before me. By the time Celia and I walked out the parking lot was beyond full. I do not remember an election with this kind of turn out ever. They should have but the school budget question on the ballot, who knows maybe we would have passed the budget finally. Donna

At 8:08 AM, Blogger The Balla Family said...

Turns out you would have been up well into the night, waiting for us to discern any vibe about what had just happened in America. On the bus and subway, not a whisper. At various public places around the city, nothing. There were no TVs in the place where we ate lunch, so not even an image. We, in effect, spent a day in this nation's capital totally oblivious to the events that were going on in Washington, DC.

Desi remarked that it was a lot like our experience on Halloween. Sure, you could seek out the election in an expat corner of town. But you could much more easily carry on without an immediately visible sign.



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