21st Century
The Future
World Travel
Books & Film
Original Fiction
Opinion & Lifestyle
Politics & Living
Film Space
Movies in depth
Kid's Books
Reviews & stories

The International Writers Magazine:

Obama: A Middle East Viewpoint
Marwan Asmar

The world is watching Barrack Obama, the up-and-rising African-American Senator as he bids for the highest office in the land of dreams. Regardless of conservative negative attacks against him, as spread by a conservative media machine that strengthens by the day, he is clearly taking average voters by storm and at a whirlwind pace that is promising to be a new domestic era for America.

Former White House Lady and Senator Hillary Clinton on the other hand appears limping at the electoral altar, with her personality and charm and astute intellect failing her for the first time. She is possibly ready to admit defeat for the democratic nomination to run for the next president of the United States in early 2009.

Barack Obama on the other hand appears to be sailing through an electoral and party-politics machine that demands nothing less than candidates with style, flair and political charisma. He’s is a series of firsts in American politics as he could very well be on the way to taking the Democrats nomination for the presidency, a massive breakthrough in the country’s race relations, seconded only if he becomes America’s first black president.

This would certainly speak abound for changes in the American structure of power with the chickens coming home to roost after years of black disequilibrium in the social, political, economic and cultural system. But will corporate America pay heed to Obama even if be comes to power?

It will be a strong moral victory regardless of the fact with the first time an African-American at the apex of structure of power of the most powerful country in the world. But slowly does it for Obama is yet to gain a foothold on the electoral ladder to the presidency.

Right now, and at this intermediate stage, it appears match, set and game for Obama who originally came from Kenya, and made it up the greasy pole, first as a respected law professor and then a member of the US Senate.
With him winning 11 straight primaries in the wayward drift of the congress-like politics, many, including their supporters, are saying the Clinton team is ready to throw in the towel and submit to the inevitable, despite the 700 staffers and the $100 million spent on the campaign, with campaigners including Hillary saying it is just not working this time around.

This is the feeling all around including in the top-dog press and in many of Hillary’s campaign insiders who believe Clintons legacy—Bill Clinton is one of the advisers—is causing deep national fatigue and people are uneasy about bringing them back into the White House.

Many of the Americans today clamor for Obama, a new, hip, dynamic face and voice who is giving the people new hope for a better world with some observers saying they are reminded of former president Jimmy Carter when he ran for president after the Nixon-Kissinger-Ford debacle in the mid-1970s where Vietnam and Watergate put Americans' off politics in particular.

Today the similarities are eerie as the current Bush administration follows a distinctly distasteful occupation in Iraq having stretched its leg from Afghanistan and established its presence in the Gulf. While foreign affairs don’t have much of an impact on domestic politics, the fact is many Americans are looking for a kind of leadership that will bring their boys out of the Iraqi quagmire, and re-introduce some kind of a semblance of order to their lives that has been shackled by talk of death and amputations of soldiers coming back from duty.

Obama is coming across as somebody with a new look and someone who wants change and meaning. His fresh face is supported by whites as well as blacks and Hispanics, drawing people in their tens of thousands as he did in Dallas, Houston and Austin were 15,000, 18,000 and 20,000 attended respectively to cheer him on to go on to be elected to run for president.

In contrast, and although her campaign advisors told her she’ll win big on long, hard knuckled experience and panache, as opposed to Obama’s political immaturity, who has been in the US Senate under three years, they are now scrambling to eat their words.

At her rallies and primaries, she’ll be lucky to have few thousands in the audience to come and listen to what she has to say, a pity because in her time Hillary Clinton was voted one of Americas top 10 lawyers, and an effective speaker at making her case.

Times may have changed for her and her husband, who in his day, in the 1990s was someone you loved to hate but could not. In his days, Bill Clinton had a sophisticated PR team and the best of speech writers, coming across as a friend of the people. Maybe Hillary should have rehired them all. But these are different times for national American politics that is longing for change on many fronts that have become inextricably linked.

But are we reading too much into this and painting an almost romantic picture based on the choice of the people and what they want whilst underplaying the role of tradition, corporate America, the single-super-power and its media. There is a very real and deep-seated campaign going on to smear Obama among the conservatives and even liberals like Hillary who are jumping on the bandwagon of mumbo-jumbo diatribe of questioning his patriotism as an American and a Christian.

While the smear campaign is still in its early stages, nevertheless, it may be somewhat effective in the long run. Playing on the Osama Bin Laden card, Obama is being labeled a Muslim, while an internet site suggests he is a Muslim intent on destroying the United States, as if he could, or he wants to.

Everything he says, including his gestures and actions are being interpreted negatively in one way or another and conservatives this time are harping on the fact that he may or may not have put his hand on chest during the National Anthem!

Having been a Senator Obama is part-and-parcel of the American system. To have his credentials questioned this time around also speaks abundance about the push-and-pull of a political system that believes change is ultimately for the worse.

Marwan Asmar Feb 27th 2008

The writer, based in Jordan, is a media consultant and the Responsible Chief Editor of Jo Magazine, a monthly in Amman and served between 1993-1003 as the Managing Editor of The Star English weekly in Jordan.

More Opinion


© Hackwriters 1999-2008 all rights reserved - all comments are the writers' own responsibiltiy - no liability accepted by or affiliates.