Yes, it's true, a large pond separates our two nations but that doesn't stop what happens in America having a bearing on life in the U.K. so we Brits are watching, closely, the goings on over there just now.
With only a few days left until Election Day, I have been talking with some of my fellow Brits, wondering who they want to win. Not surprisingly - considering his opponent - the majority said Barack Obama.
At 'The Toby', a local pub/restaurant in Beckenham, Kent, which is always crowded with young and old, I thought I might get some interesting comments from these typical Brits enjoying a drink and a meal on a cold, wet autumn night.
Lyn, a waitress, was very sure who she wanted to see in the White House. 'Barack Obama, He talks to you, not at you. Not like the old man who is always moaning about something. Obama is positive.'
Most spoke of Obama's 'Presence. '
'THe man commands respect. When he talks to audiences, or to the tv camera, he acts like a man who is ready to be President.'. Bill Horn, a jeweller in his 60s, having dinner with his wife, said he would be staying up on Nov 4 to watch the tv. coverage. 'This is a historic election. Can you believe it, by November 5, America could have a Black President!'
Bill Horn is right. Who'd have dreamt America would have found the courage to elect a black man!
This morning I met with an actress friend. Lu Summer has appeared in many television dramas, including 'Trial and Retribution', and I wondered what her thoughts were on the forthcoming American election.
She believed it was all a Republican conspiracy.
'They want a quick exit. They have raided all the cookie jars, trashed the house and are happy to exit through the back door and let the cleaners come in. Why else choose a man who may have stood a chance twenty, maybe even ten years ago, and a minor celeb - in her own back yard- to head the chase? Unless, of course, they genuinely believed these two were the very best they could offer the country.... if so, this could go a long way to explaining a few things...'
Lu hadn't finished.
'McCain ambles through the presidential race as though it's the last week of school term. During the debates he doodled away and fiddled with his pencil, a strange grin on his face as he lazily hooked on to Joe the Plumber, carelessly offering him all the tax breaks he asked for while Obama - refusing to be drawn into "any bloody lie will do just get the freakin' votes in" generalisations - sensibly, and refreshingly honestly, refused to give the - let's face it not badly off Joe, any more tax breaks. That was when I sat up and took notice. As it happens his opponent is a puppy dog, with a Barbie doll attached...But - and this is potentially a huge strength, I believe, on his part - Obama still takes him seriously.
Now that is a man who may be able to listen, absorb, digest and - who knows - come up with some answers. Barack Obama seems to be the real deal. He certainly wants the job. I hope he gets it.'
Across London in leafy Putney on the River Thames, Gail Renard - BAFTA award winning scriptwriter, who recently sold some original John Lennon lyrics at Christie's in New York, stopped work to say she believes 'Obama symbolises hope and promise, which the world desperately needs, and it's now OUR job to help him to fulfil that dream and make it a reality.'
Another writer, Violet Ellison, from San Francisco, told me just a few hours ago. 'I couldn't sleep last night, literally, wondering if it was going to be another four years of the same or if I should move to Canada.'.
While John Thompson, an ex-pat, living in New Jersey will soon be relocating to Mexico, smiled. 'I have the best of both worlds. If Obama wins I shall be very, very happy but if he loses I'll be in Mexico'
But Michael Meltzer, from the world of international banking, was not smiling. 'The Obama I have seen appears to offer the US the opportunity to cross a divide that few can. He could be the healer that can stretch out his hands to those that feel powerless and to those that feel that they have suffered years of oppression. He says he has new ideas for the US and potentially the free world. His rallies frisson has generated a sense of purpose and a passion amongst his followers few have seen in the recent past - please God he lives up to this. The fear is that he may not live to fulfil the potential he offers. A country that has seen many assassination attempts, and some notorious success amongst presidents, and other eminent notables, leads me to fear that there will be many attempts to shorten his tenure. As for what he means to the UK and Europe? I worry that he may not realise where his true allies reside. America can no longer go it alone and decide what is best for the world (read US interests). The recent financial meltdown has shown it the world is much more integrated than ever before. Yet no matter how integrated decisions may well be made with little thought to the impact across the pond. Just maybe if Obama uses the great brain he has and listens (as well as acts) to those that have more experience, if not the charisma, leadership qualities and the potential presidential seal, just maybe he will be that man that changes the world for the better'
Barack Obama stands for 'Change' and I believe he is the man to make it happen.
He tells me so and dammit, I believe him!
I desperately want him to win on Nov 4. The alternative is unthinkable - too scary to contemplate.
America needs Barack Obama, it's true, but this Brit believes the world needs him
and everybody who can vote - should vote.
For all our sakes.
I would if I could!