It was touted as an historic election, a vote to determine the future direction of Lebanon. But even with the winners declared, analysts say the June 7 ballot was far from decisive, and did little to alter the fundamental balance of power in the country. In the US, Lebanon's poll has been characterized as another contest in the battle for hearts and minds in the Middle East, and a victory for a new Washington administration over the hardliners in Tehran.
"It was the real deal: President Barack Obama defeated President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad of Iran," wrote New York Times columnist Tom Friedman. "Neither man was on the ballot, but there's no question whose vision won here."