What I Think

Obama, a political phenomenon

Posted on: March 8, 2008

This is a article which I liked very much. I made minor changes in it to suit a global audience. Happy Reading–

Its hard to go to the United States these days and not become instantly and acutely aware of the political phenomenon that currently sweeps through the world’s most powerful democracy: Barack Obama. From the moment, I arrived in New York last week on a cold and sunny winter’s day, I noticed how hard it is to get away from Obama. He is there every time I turned on the television, in newspaper headlines, on the cover of magazines and in conversation with friends who do not necessarily support him.

On my first evening in the city I went with a die-hard Republican friend to dinner in a new restaurant in the Ritz Carlton Hotel. Before we finished our first course we were in the throes of discussing politics. More accurately, discussing the virtues and flaw of the man who could become America’s first black president. My republican friend was gloomy. ‘Not only does he have no administrative experience but his middle name is Hussain. Think of it, the biggest issue before us is national security because of the Islamist threat to America and we could have a president whose middle name is Hussain. What sense does that make?’ My friend was voting for John McCain, naturally, but admitted that there was a good chance that it would be Obama who make it to the White House. This opinion was shared by a more liberal American friend who said that as a journalist she tried to stay away from image campaigning for a particular candidate but this time she had gone out in the streets with a placard that said : Obama for President. I confessed that I had been following the campaign from distant Delhi and fully understood how she felt. I have spent hours on YouTube watching old speeches of Obama and marveling at his felicity with words and his amazing ability to get through to people. I have googled up his story and learned about his Kenyan father and his white American mother and of how he grew up on the rougher side of Chicago. But, most of all it is what Obama has to say about change that has captured my imagination. Obama started off as a non-starter. six months ago almost nobody gave him the slightest chance of winning the Democratic Party’s nomination above Hilary Clinton. As someone who heard her speak extempore in Davos some years ago I was sure that she would win the nomination because not only is she super-smart but has the active support of her even more super -smart husband.

When I was in New York last year her nomination was considered certain and now overnight almost she had become the underdog. she has fought back but her arguments seem not to have worked against Obama’s powerful cry against change. he makes the case that politics in Washington has become fetid and stale and is more to do with the interest of lobbyists than with the interests of the people and he ha got his message through. While I was in New York the other side attacked him for being a man who was good with word but what good were word without clear policies. When he fought back with a brilliant speech that used words to show how important words were. ‘I have a dream, just words’. Hilary Clinton’s team retorted by saying he had borrowed chunks of someone else’s speech. It made no difference and he continued to beet hare in the polls and it is my sincere hope that he does become the President of the United States because it would prove that America really is what it says it is – “A country in which anyone can make it”.

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