It may be a cold, rainy Monday night in London but people all over the city are excited about what is to happen tomorrow in Washington DC. Well, maybe not people ALL over the city - but definitely three taxi drivers, two advertising execs, a United flight attendant and two guys at a sporting goods shop in Fulham. There is an energy around London that I can, with relative certainty, say was not here when Bush took office.
The Lexi Theatre (up the street from where I am staying this week) is broadcasting inauguration coverage live from 8pm tomorrow night. Tickets have been sold-out since Saturday. The advertising agency my friends work for is tuning into the festivities first thing tomorrow and will keep their business television on Obamamania all day (plus providing snacks and doilies in red, white and blue). Craigslist London boasts of the American Expat Meet-Up group and their inauguration party for over 4,000 people. Madame Tussauds is unveiling their wax figure of Obama tomorrow and Democrats Abroad's Inaugural Ball at the Royal Lancaster Hotel is sold out.
Whatever your politics, one thing is clear: in one small corner of the world, an ocean away from the United States, there are a helluva lot of people holding out hope that the change Americans have voted in is going to make the world a better place.