"There are elements of the American political process from which the British recoil - the brashness, the whooping and hollering, the heart-on-your-sleeve sentimentality and overt patriotism. You cannot imagine a British politician delivering the sort of "I love my country" speeches that are almost compulsory across the Atlantic, without inviting sniggers and derision. American politicians like to extol their nation's greatness, especially its belief in freedom and democracy, and find it hard to understand why so many in the world espouse a visceral anti-Americanism, though this is the inevitable lot of the superpower, as the British discovered when we had an empire."
"This summer, we have seen another putative superpower, China, showing off the fruits of its economic and cultural transformation at the Olympics in Beijing. But what we did not see is any obvious move towards the political changes that would release the innovative powers of the Chinese people. It is assumed by some that during this century, China will overtake America as the world's biggest economy and take its place as the undisputed superpower. Yet what we have seen throughout the American electoral process is precisely the vigour and ambition that suggests this is unlikely. As John McCain said in his peroration on Thursday, Americans make history."