In a first indication that the United States may be starting to do things like the rest of the world, the day after the election we hear that Obama's transition team is up and running, considering various candidates for crucial posts. This is only the third election I have witnessed from within the country since I returned from Europe, but I don't remember that in 2000, George Bush was as much in the news after the hanging chads had been hung out to dry.
I seem to remember that after a president was elected, the country just waited for it to be January 20, knowing that it was lame duck season, with things bumbling along.
This time we can't afford to wait two months for sanity to move into the White House: maybe someone will propose legislation to shorten the transition time, next time. Obama will be present at the November 15th international conference on the financial crisis that President Bush has convened. It's likely he'll be taking over Cheney's position as the power behind the throne. More importantly, the foreign participants will be talking to him.
Meanwhile, the Iraqis must be heaving a sigh of relief: they won't have to pretend to be discussing a status of forces treaty that would rip off the sovereignty we supposedly brought them; as for Medveydev, he staked out his position on Europe: if we put missiles in Poland, he'll line up his own toys. But that's not going to be the crisis that tests Obama in the first six months.
By the way, this morning CNN, which can't seem to stop repeating the words "President elect", finally played the entire sentence uttered by Biden during the campaign. Biden said: "It wont be six months before the international community tests this man, as they did Clinton." They must have been keeping the complete sentence in a drawer .....