As we had been saying all along, the junior Senator from Illinois Barack Obama has become the 44th President of the USA. The imporatance of this event cannot be gainsaid: the perception of the world will change dramatically in favor of the USA not because an African-American has been elected but because Barack Obama has quite convincingly sold the messaGE OF hope. Now with the reality of power breathing down, Obama will realise the fact that the hopes that he has engendered all over the world will be difficult to fulfill. He starts will a trmendous groung swell of popular support not only in the USA but all over the world. Unlike President Bush who won with less popular vote than Al Gore, Barack Obama has secured 54 % of the popular vote and so he may well get neaRLY 370 ELECTORAL COLLEGE VOTES.
I heard the victory speech at Grant Park, Chicago. Obama seemed to have realised that running for office presented the least of his difficulties. But having raised the hopes of millions of people all over the world he will find it difficult to translate campaign rhetoric into lasting political programs. The economy is in such a bad shape that I do not see what Obama can do that Bush has not tried and failed. The War in Afghanistan is likely to sputter on intermitently but a political resolution is nowhere in sight. Further with the Democrats controlling both Houses, Barack Obama will have to reach out to the House Democrats particularly Nancy Pelosi. Whether he garners bipartisan support for his policies remains to be seen. However the presence of an Afican American first family in the White House will give a huge boost to the moral standing of the USA and that is to be welcomed.
I have consistently supported Barack Obama and wish him success in the difficult task of governing the country. He made a splendid beginning in his speech and I hope he continues in that spirit.