Congratulations USA. As is everyone else in the whole wide world, I'm so happy for you I could cry. I actually did cry a few times. Having been traveling the a lot recently, it was interesting how all many people were talking about is how we hoped Obama would win.
I think that the financial crisis has triggered a wave of doubt about the US all over the world. In general. I is inevitable that the US going from being a "super-duper power" to just a "super-power". However, as the world was adjusting to this new, more distributed world, we could have ended up in a very anti-American direction, or one where we were working to try to integrate American as a "member" of a more rational and diverse world.
I think the presidency was the key to retaining global respect for the US as we recover from the recent shocks in the market. Although the US will have a lot of work cut out for itself in the coming months and years, I think that having elected Obama, the US will get to start with a clean slate and most people will give the US the benefit of the doubt. I think that this is really a great chance to show the rest of the world how intelligent, humble, diversity-embracing and ready-for-change the US is. Lets work to make the US respectable again and help convince the world that the core values of the US are something worth learning from.
I was quoted in the Washington Post today. The article is behind some sign-up wall, but if you search for "Joichi Ito" at WashingtonPost.com, you can find the article.
It's mostly accurate, but I don't think I ever said, "black man". I think I said, "Obama." The journalist kept asking me, "what do you think about a black man taking office..." so I guess he wanted that in the quote. I do think that Obama being black is part of importance of the election, but the fact that Obama is black isn't WHY he is humble, intelligent and great. ;-)
Around the World, Praise for Obama
By Kevin Sullivan
Washington Post Foreign Service
"It is almost impossible to overstate the impact of this vote on the rest of the world," said Joichi Ito, a globetrotting Internet entrepreneur and prominent blogger who is based in Tokyo.
"The United States looked closed, stupid, xenophobic and aggressive" under Bush," Ito said. "By electing Obama, it looks open, diversity-embracing, humble and intelligent."
"This vote is the best thing that could have happened to restore American influence," Ito said. "By choosing a black man as president, Americans showed the world they are ready for change."