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November 7, 2012

Finally!  Election Day in the United States has arrived!  After months and months (years?) of campaigning, it is finally time for the American people to vote on who will be their next President.  Will President Barack Obama win reelection, or will the Republican Party retake the White House with a victory by Governor Mitt Romney?  We’ll know in a few hours!

While the American people are anxious to know the outcome, so, too, are people around the world.  Here in France there has been continuous press coverage in newspapers and on television of the last few weeks of the campaign.  In Alsace, we’ll be participating in election return-watching events at Pfaffenhoffen and in Strasbourg, and such events will be held by our other diplomatic posts in France, as well.  Why all this interest in the U.S. election?  It’s because the U.S. remains the preeminent economic and military power in the world, and what happens in the United States invariably effects those living outside our borders as well as those within.

 In this election cycle the two major parties have nominated outstanding candidates.  Both President Obama and Governor Romney are experienced, wise, dedicated and likable leaders who truly want to do what’s best for the American people.  On many issues they might agree, but on many others, they have fundamentally different approaches to how the government should be run.  And this is what democracy is all about: letting the people choose which approach they prefer.  This Presidential election really does remind us that, as President Lincoln said, in the United States we have “government of the people, by the people, for the people.”

The election will be a close one.  It has been hard fought by the candidates and their supporters.  It will be an exciting finish, and we’ll know in a few hours who will be occupying the White House for the next four years.  One candidate will prevail; the other will not.  But regardless of who becomes the next President, we will all be winners, as our democratic system of government and way of life will have been revalidated yet again, for the 57th time since George Washington became our first President.

Consul General Evan G. Reade

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