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The President Elect Barack Obama

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After forty three presidents of Caucasian origin, Barack Obama, a black man, was elected the forty-fourth president of the United States of America on November 4th, 2008. It was the defining moment for supporters in the USA and all over the world who celebrated his successes at the polls.{{more}} Many of us never expected to see a Black president within our life time, given the issue of race and the costs of presidential campaigns. But Barack Obama defied all the odds and not only was he able to woo many white voters and neutralize the race factor, but he was able to raise the money necessary for an expensive campaign. This gives us hope for world peace one day.

Barack Obama is a man of great stature, with a magnetism that has earned him many devout followers. He is charismatic, composed, intelligent, articulate and talented. He brings to the presidency an unusual package that is rare in history. Comedians find it difficult to poke fun at him.

He changed one of the cardinal rules of political campaigns by raising funds for his campaign from simple ordinary people via the Internet. In this way he avoided the burden of serving the traditional interest of the lobbyists in Washington. His message of “hope” and “change” assumed gigantic proportions. It resonated among rich, poor, black, white, Latinos and Asians. He attracted the largest crowd in this campaign season, and one cannot forget the mammoth crowd that he drew in Germany as a visiting presidential candidate. His stirring speech of “A more perfect union,” in which the issue of race was raised, put to rest the Jeremiah Wright issue that had threatened to engulf him. The celebration that occurred all over the world when he won the election is a testament to the love, respect and admiration that people hold for him.

Barack Obama, the offspring of a white mother and a black father, came on to the national scene in the Democratic Convention of 2004 where he delivered the keynote address. Many persons saw him as the hope for the Democratic Party and by extension for the United States of America. He was urged to become a nominee for the 2008 elections, a challenge which he embraced because the compelling factor was “the urgency of now.”

Obama has singled out the middle class for special attention. His rescue plan is intended to bring some relief from a rigid tax system which has retarded their progress for the last eight years. According to Obama, “our economy is at its strongest when we reward work and not just wealth”. Obama intends “to jump start the economy; restore simplicity, fairness and values to the tax code; provide affordable health care for everyone; make college affordable for everyone; launch a new energy policy” and restore American’s prosperity, among other things. This is a tall order, and after giving him a resounding mandate in the November elections, the American people would be waiting for him to deliver. He has shown the intention to do so and is taking the American people along with him. For this he has harnessed the same tool, the Internet, which he used successfully in the primaries and the presidential race. We would have to surf the web to to see the progress of this partnership.

Ada Johnson is a solicitor and barrister-at-law.
E-mail address is: [email protected]