Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Obama Obama

Hillary Rodham Clinton [HRC] lost two nominations yesterday. One, the Presidential nomination and two, because of her inexplicable speech, the Vice Presidential nomination. You had to see the faces of CNN "political analysts" after her speech. They were like.."what the.."

While HRC takes time to process and let the situation sink in, it cannot be denied that America has just witnessed a momentous event. An event worthy of saluting not only the democratic party, but America itself. No other "white" country in the world has ever done this! The Europeans and Canadians, who never tire at taking dig at America , lecturing it to glory, should take a leaf or two from here. Barak Hussein Obama and Condelizza Rice are not just figurative symbolic figures of USA. They are actually very very powerful people in their own right. This is "affirmative action" at its working best.

They say, that you do not appreciate History that is too close to you. We will never fully fathom what we just saw. Imagine this. Blacks were not allowed to vote in America just 47 years ago. They had separate public restrooms just few decades back. And now they are at a cusp of electing the first African American President ever.

The African-American girl sitting next to me in train today could not have been more excited, reading every minute news item on that newspaper. I could feel the energy. And i guess so does America. The momentum and energy is clearly with one man today. A man whose father was born in Kenya. A man who, went to Harvard and rejected plum jobs to work with his community in Chicago; is almost there. The "investment" has clearly paid off.

Obama would do good to himself by not assuming things from here on. The popular opinion can easily change like climate. HRC, just a year back thought, it was cakewalk. All she needed was to call out her nomination and the coronation would follow. If Obama assumes a cakewalk from here on, he may find himself precariously close to HRC's position today. The position of being in denial. If Obama thinks, Clinton machine was mean to him, he has not even seen half of it. What Republican machine can do, he has no clue.

If McCain wins the election, he would become America's oldest President. If Obama wins, he will become youngest ever. It's easy not to gloss over his ethnicity, but the fact remains, he is well educated, articulate, energetic nominee, Afro-American or not. In fact Afro-Americanism is coincidental to this rather than the core. But people will continue pressing that till it becomes embarrassing for him. To his credit, in his "victory" speech he never once mentioned his race. He spoke like a statesman.

Comparing Obama's speech with McCain's speech yesterday, was like comparing a Rock stars' show to a Office meeting. The difference could not have been more obvious. But when America will vote in November this year, they will not be looking for a Rock Star. They will be looking for someone they can trust. And Obama and McCain both will have to work on this. Obama will have to forget he is Black. He will have to keep focusing on issues and make sure he does not take the Republican bait on race.

Whether he is up for the challenge only time will tell.

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