At the end of a tight, grueling, vastly expensive, exciting (including a hurricane!) and fascinating campaign, Barack Obama has won a further four years in the White House. It is an extraordinary exploit (what, in rugby parlance, would be called a win ‘against the head’). Somewhere during the campaign Charlie Cook, a veteran Washington commentator, wittily opined ‘It is becoming clear that if President Obama is re-elected, it will be despite the economy and because of his campaign. If Mitt Romney wins, it will be because of the economy and despite his campaign.’ Romney was gracious in defeat and Obama was gracious in victory. The President was also eloquent on why he and Romney had fought so hard – his victory speech was, indeed, a strong defence of US Presidential campaigns. While Obama now rolls up his sleeves and starts to work out how to try and build on the centre ground of a divided legislature (this is no bright new dawn but, rather, a murky morning), the pundits are already speculating about 2016 (currently the smart money, for what it’s worth, is apparently on Clinton v. Christie). I’d like to finish this post with the story of my friend, Hugo, of hurricane-stricken New York. Amid all the carnage and wreckage, here’s his experience; “So I tried to vote early, if not often, and I visited a lot of polling places. Since I had not received a ballot because there had been no mail in a week I checked the State on-line registry and it told me to vote at 10 Church Towers. At that polling place, they had a list of voters and a registry. They checked the list and said I wasn’t on it, so they sent me to their satellite site at 15 Church Towers. There I wasn’t on the list either, and they advised to me go to my old polling place on 9th Street, because I might still be in the registry there. At the 9th Street polling place I found out that my old polling place had been moved to Park Avenue, so there I went. At the Park Avenue polling place I wasn’t in the registry either, so I went back to 10 Church Towers and asked them politely to check if maybe I was in the registry, even though I wasn’t on the list. They checked the registry, and bingo, there I was. I left my apartment at 6 am and voted at 7:15 am, but I got a good workout.”