Waking up to the news that the winner of the U.S. election might not be known for a while was jarring to a planet weaned on that most American of exports: speed.
World leaders generally refrained from commenting Wednesday on the election outcome until it was clear. But the particularly fractious and contested nature of the vote was already sparking concerns overseas that the superpower’s sharp divisions and internal conflicts might endure long after the winner is declared.
There also was gloating from Russia, Africa and elsewhere that the election was exposing American democracy to be imperfect. Still, many had predicted the election would be close and warned that a result might be slow in coming.