Never mind the 50 stars on the flag, the real stars of the show come US election night 2020 were CNN’s magic wall and John King, the US network’s indefatigable analyst.
I miss those guys.
Their presence filled millions of homes, like mine, around the globe on 3 November and beyond, so much so that it’s claimed that Americans lost 138 million hours of sleep on election night, let alone the rest of us, only to learn very little on the night itself.
One thing that even the electrifying key race alerts couldn’t have predicted, however, is that three weeks on, we would be in a position where a sitting president is only just hinting at conceding the election, allowing a formal transition of power formally to begin.
It comes as Michigan’s electoral board approved its vote tally last night, resisting pressure from President Donald Trump’s legal team to delay the process, and paving the way for president-elect Joe Biden to receive the state’s 16 electoral votes.
Even as the General Services Administration acknowledged Biden as the “apparent winner”, the sitting president vowed to keep contesting his election defeat through legal channels.
All of this has, of course, been a big distraction from the president elect’s own mandate, as overnight he named the team that will staff the transition in advance of the inauguration less than two months from now.
Determined not to be drawn into the Trump reality show, Biden has kept his eyes on the prize, selecting seasoned diplomats, academics and experienced ex-officials. Among them, the former US secretary of state John Kerry, who will act as “climate tsar” when he takes office. His new diplomatic task will surely be tougher now than when he served as President Barack Obama’s secretary of state, during which time he helped steer the negotiation of the Paris Agreement, locking down commitments from nearly 200 countries – including his own (at least back then) – to begin to reverse the dangerous effects of global warming.
Other key choices include Avril Haines, the first woman to be director of national intelligence. Regarded as a sharp policy expert, she’s top among career intelligence officers.
Then there’s Biden’s “alter ego”; guitar-playing Beatles fanatic Antony Blinken who is set to take up one of the most important foreign policy positions when he becomes secretary of state. He joins Kerry in the task of reviving the US’s global reputation after four years of Trump.
The announcements come as further pressure mounts on Trump to give up his legal fight.
We don’t need a key race alert to tell us the end is nigh for the “Trump Show”. After years of watching, his ratings are in and even his ardent supporters are switching off.
That’s not to say that there won’t be a spin off. But for now, it’s time to change the channel as Biden’s cast is worth watching.