Wednesday, 12 November 2008

Legal Secretary application: what to do next?

I sent off an application for a legal secretary position at a high-street law firm back in August. The position was to commence in September. About three weeks after sending off my application I phoned up the firm to get an idea of what progress was being made on my application and when I could expect to hear from them. The partner that I spoke to seemed to be pretty interested in my application. Our conversation ended by him saying: 'I'll need to give this some more thought'. I've basically waited patiently since. I was surprised that all through September and October the position was still being advertised in my local newspaper. Even with the words 'to commence in September' throughout all of this period.

Now, half-way through November and the position isn't being advertised any more and I don't know what to do. The partner that I spoke to on the phone seemed pretty interested in me and its still something I desparately want to do. It occurs to me that, what with the credit crunch and all, they may be unable to pay another employee. That's a possibility, right? Well, for a while at least, I'd be prepared to work without being paid. I'm wondering whether I should perhaps phone up and make some inquiries. But, just how far should I go?

Your thoughts would be much appreciated :)

Wednesday, 5 November 2008

President-elect Obama

Obama won yesterday's Presidential election with, what will probably be, 364 electoral college votes to McCain's 174.

I say 'probably' because a couple of states - North Carolina and Missouri - have not officially been called yet. Obama is likely to win North Carolina; and McCain is likely to win Missouri.

In my prediction (see previous blog entry) Obama won with 325 electoral college votes to McCain's 213. I was off by three states worth 39 electoral college votes. They were: Indiana (11), Virginia (13) and North Carolina (15). All of these were so-called 'battleground' states and showed a very small, but remarkable, lead by Obama in the days before the election. I thought McCain would have won them back in the final push of his campaign where he visited these states.

Election night for me began when the first batch of polls closed and ended when the last batch of polls closed. It was at 04:00 a.m. that the race was finally called here in the U.K. for Obama, immediately after the polls in California closed and the Democratic nominee was projected to win. The race, for McCain, ended much sooner than that though. Three important states with hefty electoral college votes were among those to close early: Pennsylvania, Florida and Ohio. Obama could win the presidency with one of these (at a stretch); McCain, however, needed at least two of these go red for him to be within a chance of winning. All three, as I predicted they would, went for Obama.

The highlight of the night was watching McCain's concession speech and Obama's victory speech. Both speeches are being compared very favourably with the best of those given in previous presidential elections. McCain seemed to have accepted defeat very well. Obama was more cautious - he didn't want to gloat and he wanted to be quick to push the success away from himself and into the hands of the American electorate.

It was a night of democracy and powerful oratory in action and it was just beautiful to watch.

Saturday, 1 November 2008

My Prediction: Obama v McCain 325-213

What follows is my prediction for Tuesday's Presidential election.

There are a total of 538 Electoral college votes to be awarded. A candidate needs at least 270 votes to be elected President. In my prediction, Obama wins with 325 electoral college votes to McCain's 213.

Here are the states that I think each candidate will win. The corresponding electoral college votes are in brackets afterwards.

Obama (325)

California (55), Colarado (9), Columbia (3), Connecticut (7), Delaware (3), Florida (27), Hawaii (4), Illinois (21), Iowa (7), Maine (4), Maryland (10), Massachusetts (12), Michigan (17), Minnesota (10), Nevada (5), New Hampshire (4), New Jersey (15), New Mexico (5), New York (31), Ohio (20), Oregon (7), Pennsylvania (21), Rhode Island (4), Washington (11), Vermont (3), Wisconsin (10),

McCain (213)

Alabama (9), Alaska (3), Arizona (10), Arkansas (6), Georgia (15), Idaho (4), Indiana (11), Kansas (6), Kentucky (8), Louisiana (9), Mississippi (6), Missouri (11), Montana (3), Nebraska (5), North Carolina (15), North Dakota (3), Oklahoma (7), South Carolina (8), South Dakota (3), Tennessee (11), Texas (34), Utah (5), Virginia (13), West Virginia (5), Wyoming (3)

In recent weeks the election has been fought in the following 13 battleground states worth 158 electoral votes:

Colarado (9)
Florida (27)
Georgia (15)
Indiana (11)
Missouri (11)
Montana (3)
Nevada (5)
New Mexico (5)
North Carolina (15)
North Dakota (3)
Ohio (20)
Pennsylvania (21)
Virginia (13)

I think Obama will win the 6 states in bold which are cumulatively worth 87 electoral college votes. In winning the other 7 states, 71 electoral college votes will be in the McCain column. 87-71.

This, though, makes the election seem closer than it really is. Outside of these states, Obama has a much clearer lead over McCain. Also, calling some of the above states 'battleground states' is a bit misleading because some of them clearly aren't. In New Mexico, Ohio and Pennsylvania, Obama is ahead by at least 5 points. He is up in Florida too, but not by much. The reason that I put Florida in Obama's column is because I think he has ran a really successful campaign there. On the ground, he's pushed lots of Democrats and Independents to the polls in his early voting drive. The Obama campaign has further topped that off with adding a historic amount of new voters there. McCain definitely has support down there; but I think Obama has more. Just don't ask me how much!

Apologies for not being able to present the above numbers in an electoral college map. If I can find a way to do that, I will try to get it up.