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Thread: World hopes for a 'less arrogant America'

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    Default World hopes for a 'less arrogant America'

    World hopes for a 'less arrogant America' - Watching America Vote

    Crowds gather all over globe to follow historic U.S. elections



    Khalil Senosi / AP

    Kenyans living in Kibera, one of Africa's largest slums in Nairobi, dance in praise of U.S. presidential candidate Barack Obama during a vigil on Tuesday night.

    BERLIN - Throngs packed plazas and pubs around the world to await U.S. elections results Tuesday, many inspired by Barack Obama's promise of change amid a sense of relief that — no matter who wins — the White House is changing hands.

    As millions of American voters decided between Obama or John McCain, the world was abuzz, ready to bear witness to a moment of history that would reverberate well beyond American borders.
    "America is electing a new president, but for the Germans, for Europeans, it is electing the next world leader," said Alexander Rahr, director of the German Council on Foreign Relations.

    In Kenya, Obama's ancestral homeland, the atmosphere was electric with pride and excitement as people flocked to all-night parties to watch election results roll in.

    "Tonight we are not going to sleep," said Valentine Wambi, 23, a student at the University of Nairobi.

    The Irish village of Moneygall was also trying to claim Obama as a favorite son — based on research that concluded the candidate's great-great-great grandfather, Joseph Kearney, lived there before emigrating to the United States.

    At Moneygall's Hayes Bar, an American flag fluttered outside window Tuesday and local band Hardy Drew and the Nancy Boys played their rousing folk song "There's No One as Irish as Barack Obama."
    "We're not going to go mad with the drink," said Ollie Hayes, who runs the pub. "We just want to show Barack that we appreciate he's from here."
    Longtime McCain supporter Kay Angelis described it as "a bit lonely and a bit odd" being a Republican in France. But being in the clear minority at an election night party in Paris swarming with Obama supporters didn't dent her enthusiasm.

    "I appreciate experience ... And I think American voters do too," the 85-year-old said. She lamented Obama's "whirlwindy" campaign and lack of foreign policy heft and warned that whoever wins will "inherit many global conflicts — and enemies."

    Scores of U.S. voters living in the Mexican state of Baja California crossed the border to cast their vote, including Roberto Chavez, 32, an engineer who has dual citizenship.

    "Usually I only vote in Mexican elections because I live here, but I'm going to vote in this election because I want Obama to win," he said.

    Election dominates newspapers, TV, Web sites
    In Germany, where more than 200,000 people flocked to see Obama this summer as he burnished his foreign policy credentials during a trip to the Middle East and Europe, the election dominated television ticker crawls, newspaper headlines and Web sites.

    At an underground aquarium near the Eiffel Tower in Paris, boisterous Democrats and scattered Republicans shared tortilla chips and Cointreau cocktails, waiting for the results.

    French-born U.S. citizen Marielle Davis said if Obama wins, it may mean a move back to America. She left Boston in 2003 after two decades for Paris because of tension around the Iraq war.

    "People were pointing at me, saying 'She's French,' even my good friends," she said, recalling criticism heaped on France over its opposition to the war.

    Obama-mania was evident not only across Europe but also in much of the Islamic world, where Muslims expressed hope that the Democrat would seek compromise rather than confrontation.

    The Bush administration alienated Muslims by mistreating prisoners at its detention center for terrorism suspects at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, and inmates at Iraq's Abu Ghraib prison — human rights violations also condemned worldwide.

    CONTINUED: McCain draws support in Israel

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    Here's hoping that concensus will beat the big stick approach to diplomacy.

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