Barack Obama has won the election and will be the president of the United States for another four years. In 2008, his election was greeted as the great hope, the great change. Today, Americans have probably chosen certified secondhand. So far Obama is the only president to survive the current major economic crisis: in Spain Rajoy took the place of Zapatero, in France Hollande was substituted for Sarkozy, in Britain Cameron replaced Brown and in Italy we have Monti instead of Berlusconi. Next year it will be Merkel’s turn to ask for the popular consensus to continue governing Germany.

It can be asked, how is it that the president of a country, which like so many others has lost thousands of jobs, has succeeded in winning? The answer is probably because he prevented even more jobs from going up in smoke. Americans, pragmatic as they are, have appreciated this as much as it would appear they have welcomed the healthcare revolution. In short, he may be certified secondhand, but that doesn’t take away from his electoral success. On close examination, we see it’s so much more. With Obama, America will continue to look to Europe and imitate certain aspects of its virtuous behavior. If Europe were to do the same, it would be a good thing—as long as it may release some Obamas of its very own.