Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Turning point in US history

June 5, 2008

Turning point
in US history

Barack Obama has made history by securing the Democratic White House nomination as the first black candidate on a major-party ticket. Indeed, his erstwhile rival, Hillary Clinton, also would have made history if she had won the nomination because she would have been the first woman candidate to run for the US presidency on a major-party ticket. The possibility remains open that Hillary Clinton might make it as vice-president in an alliance with Obama.
Obama's victory in the Democratic race has brought forth debate over what lies in store for the US and indeed the world commity of nations if the senator from Illinois wins the presidency in November in a general election clash with Republican Senator John McCain.
His triumph within the Democratic party is tinged with a disbelief among his black American supporters: They never expected in their lifetimes to be able to support an African-American candidate with a real chance of winning the presidency.
Obama is seen as a standard-bearer of a new political generation that is emerging to the frontlines at a critical time for the US and indeed the rest of the world. Many are hoping that if he wins the White House he would adopt and follow policies that would spare the international community from paying the price for the misguided approach of the sole superpower under the current administration.
Son of a white American mother and a black Kenyan father, Obama is perceived as a liberal at heart. He rose to prominence at the 2004 Democratic presidential convention with an emphatic call for unity, proclaiming "there is not a Black America and a White America ... there's the United States of America." Obama has been emphasising that he would change the direction of the country if he wins the presidency. Those promises should be music to the American people wearied by the Iraq war and stalked by fears of other conflicts and indeed economic recession.
Indeed, those who are hoping for change in the US direction should also lace their expectations with the realisation that the elements at work in the corridors of power in Washington are such that render presidents unable to deliver on election promises. However, that is no reason to be pessimistic since Obama could very well prove himself to be able beat all odds and live true to his promises and commitments.