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An impression by Rob Aeckerlin.
This morning from 5 a.m. the American Embassy and the OAR (Overseas Americans Remember) organized their traditional -once every four year- ‘Who’s the President Breakfast’ in the Great Hall of the Kurhaus Hotel in Scheveningen.
A mixed crowd of Dutch, Americans, diplomats and businessmen, political commentators, journalists and students gathered to celebrate the pinnacle of American Democracy. The Great Hall of the Kurhaus Hotel was decorated abundantly with the Stars and Stripes and the flags of the different states of the United States, and looked like a real convention hall. While eating bagles, pancakes and sausages, and drinking coffee everybody waited for things to happen.
It was anticipated to become a rather long and difficult struggle, but at 5.15 a.m. a big CNN-television screen showed the results coming in from Ohio. Obama won in Ohio and in six other so-called ‘swing states’ and surpassed the 270 electoral votes he needed to secure his next term as President in the White House.
Around 7 o’clock candidate Romney came on screen from his campaign headquarter in Boston to tell the disappointed crowd that he congratulated President Obama with his victory, thanked everybody for their efforts in his campaign and called for unity and support for the President.
Within the hour Obama delivered his victory speech in Chicago before an enthusiastic cheering audience. In his speech Obama passionately referred to America’s struggle to become a great nation and promised to set the course to a new and bright horizon, overcoming racial, religious and economic differences, with equal opportunities for all Americans. Mr Edwin Nolan, the Chargé d’Affaires of the American Embassy in The Hague commented briefly on the result of the election and its implications for the relations with Europe.
“It turned out there was a lot of Interest in this election. And now we have President Obama, who seems to have been be re-elected. We look forward to working for him again for the next four years. A lot of people seem to be interested in his view on European relations. I think those will remain very strong. Europe is our number one economic partner and will remain so. We have some economic recovery in the US, but we need Europe to be a strong partner and we’re strong supporters of European recovery as well. As we look at foreign policy challenges our European partners, The Netherlands and our NATO allies will remain our number one partners around the world and you will see continuity for the next 4 years”, Mr Nolan said.
It was a wonderful event and we will meet again in four years from now.
Mr. Edwin Nolan, the Chargé d’Affaires of the American Embassy in The Hague