Obama: An unlikely symbol of hope

He is a son of a Kenya father and a white mother. Barack Obama is a first generation American and I believe he is going to be the next President of the United States of America.

He is a son of a Kenya father and a white mother. Barack Obama is a first generation American and I believe he is going to be the next President of the United States of America.

Whatever happens, one thing is clear; he has redefined American politics and society as a whole. His story is so compelling and sounds like a fairy tale.

Many black leaders in America have reacted emotionally to what they had thought would never happen in their life time.

Time Magazine quoted the son of the Rev. Jesse Jackson, Rev Jesse Jackson Jnr, a member of the House of Representatives in the US, saying that a new chapter should be added into the bible about Barack Obama.

When one takes a look at America’s presidential politics in the recent past, you realise that, apart from being the first black person to win nomination from a major US party, Obama’s biography and career path is so different from all those who preceded him.

America’s ultimate badge of honour has in most cases been a long career in the public arena before one aspires to the highest office in the land. His Republican rival John McCain fits well in the traditional garb of someone who has a long public service record.

Above all Obama lacks the all important military record, something that McCain prides himself in. Many people who have aspired to lead America have been asked to prove heroism and a courageous military record in combat.

Not at any moment has Obama’s lack of a military record been made an issue. Thus Obama’s rise is a watershed in American presidential politics. Indeed this was confirmed by a number of prominent people in American politics including Condoleezza Rice and The Rev. Jesse Jackson a black man who once sought to become American president.

Moreover, Obama’s mixed heritage seems to have paid off. As many pundits have stated, he does not seem to threaten the white Americans that have always seemed wary of the rhetoric of black nationalism in the US, since the days when Martin Luther King led the civil rights movement.

At the same time, he does not cut the demeanor of a politician. He comes across as a celebrity, a rock star of sorts. Combined with an easy charisma, he has managed to attract many young people who in the past were less concerned with political issues.

His message is also very compelling. He has dared Americans to dream again. His message of hope speaks for itself. His life story is a story of hope itself.

As Obama readies himself for attacks from the Republican war machine, many have been urging him and even pressurising him to take on Hillary Clinton as his vice presidential running mate.

To do this would be to contradict the popular message of change. And more so the Clintons represent yesterday and not the future.  Their partisan politics and ruthless smear campaign against Obama should inform him of what they are likely to do if he decides to keep them around.

Bill Clinton’s somewhat racist remarks in South Carolina have also forced many to rethink their views about him.
This is about Obama. He ought not to allow Clinton to linger around as he walks on the path of greatness. He is the man of the moment and he has to stand out and savour the limelight.

Truly, this has been a phenomenon without precedent. It is the true American story. Historians have a real historical moment to analyse and put in context. Many will be inspired by this story and truly he has awakened a new generation of young people who will aspire to be like him.

America hopefully will never be the same again.
And for the rest of the world, he seems to be the ideal candidate who is not likely to send American troops to conquer small countries and intimidate others.

After all he has relatives living in third world poverty.He makes all African people feel good and know that nothing is impossible no matter where you come from.

frank2kagabo@yahoo.com

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