The history of the United States will record that the 2008 Presidential poll represented more than the election of another President
Washington DC. January 20th 2009. 12 noon.
As the historic inaugural day draws ever nearer, a world in turmoil on many fronts waits impatiently to witness the inauguration of America’s 44th President. Born in Hawaii to a white American mother and a black Kenyan father, former US Senator Barack Hussein Obama is about to become the first black person in history to assume the office of President of the United States of America.
A Penny for Mr Lincoln’s Thoughts
As we pause to reflect on the inhumanity of America’s long and brutal history of slavery, it is important to recall that only 50 years ago in America’s southern states, Barack Obama, by the colour of his skin, would not have been allowed to sit in a bus or occupy a seat in a diner. Five decades later with polls now measuring his level of support at 85% of the American people, Mr Obama will gain a seat, the nation’s leading seat, directly behind a history making desk – in the Oval Office of the White House.
History on behalf of so many speaks, Hallelujah and Amen.
It appears America has finally cast aside the chains of shame that bound it to it’s slave owning past. Michelle Obama, spouse of the President elect, herself a direct descendent of African American slaves and slave owners and America’s next First Lady, is living proof of what I suggest is the final act of the true emancipation of African Americans in this new century. The history of the United States will record that the 2008 Presidential poll represented much more than the election of another President.
Who says Democracy is a Failed Concept?
The understandable euphoria which surrounded Barack Obama’s election as the first man of colour to reach the White House as President, tended to disguise the obvious fact that the 2008 Presidential election was won by the brightest, the most qualified and the most appealing candidate. Voters, many for the first time, were interested enough to examine and study the Obama candidacy and what it potentially offered.
With Barack Obama doing increasingly well against Hillary Clinton in the Democratic primary contests, the prospect of a possible Obama Presidency began to attract world wide interest. A spontaneous tsnami of support began to surface among the masses in nearly every country. A phenomenon called Obamamania had arrived – and it was going global. Obama’s European, Iraq and Afghanistan visits, strongly criticised by his opponent beforehand as nothing more than grandstanding, were well timed, strategised and added further credibility and substance to his campaign on his return. In the eyes of most people, Barack Obama, as a serious Presidential contender had arrived.
An early comment from Europe
When I wrote the Obama profile titled “The Power of One” on 16th February 2008, I noted that it felt like an election for a “World President”. That line produced this comment from Mr Trond Hjerlow in Norway.
I am a white Norwegian male at the age of 71. I just wish to thank you very much for your article, the video, and the base you set for all of the positive dreams, hopes and comments in your blog. I picked just one sentence from your article, because having followed Barack Obama closely since July 2004 – it says it all. “It feels like an election for a world President!” — Posted by Trond Hjerlow – Norway / April 9, 2008, 9:04 pm.
Big Ears? All the Better to Listen With
In 2008, the name, “Obama,” became the most recognisable name around the globe – much to his opponent’s chagrin. Support for Barack Obama represented different aspirational ideas and hopes and dreams for different people everywhere. Yet common issues usually included the promotion of racial equality and equal rights, protection of the environment, an end to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and a less militaristic United States foreign policy approach, with greater emphasis on international diplomacy where possible via the UN forum.
To many, the name Obama represents “Hope & Change”.
Another feature of the election was the dedicated commitment of many private internet bloggers who supported the Obama campaign from around the world. These provided alternate views which offset the entrenched bias of America’s mainstream media. Barack Obama’s cost free campaign bloggers such as “Telling Thoughts” also operated as the necessary communication arteries vital to building and sustaining Barack Obama’s growing influence with his grassroots supporters. It was an honour to be involved.
The Historic Day
At exactly 12 noon on January 20th 2009, President elect Barack H Obama will take the oath of office. Traditionally it is administered by the Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court using the form mandated in Article II, Section 1 of the United States Constitution:
The Oath: “I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the office of President of the United States,and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States”.
Following the taking of the oath by the new Commander in Chief, military bands will play four ruffles and flourishes, then “Hail to the Chief”, followed by a 21-gun salute from howitzers of the Military District of Washington. President, Barack H Obama will then deliver the inaugural address, setting the future tone and vision for his administration.
US Presidents & President elect Obama .. 3 mins 54
A Welcoming World Awaits President Obama
On Inauguration day, the entire global community will have the opportunity to pause to observe a new chapter of history as it is written. Regardless of where we live, work or play, when President elect Obama places his hand upon the inaugural Bible, those of us not in Washington DC, will be firmly glued to television sets or internet streams wherever possible. President elect Obama has elected to use Abraham Lincoln’s inauguration Bible (shown) for the swearing in. The last President to be sworn in using this Bible was Mr Lincoln himself in 1861. His Bible is on loan from Congress.
One can easily imagine excited classrooms of children in their millions, being encouraged by their teachers to contemplate what this Presidency could mean to their future. An appropriate subject for class essays, post inauguration. Without exception, everyone, everywhere, will be touched by the decisions the new President will have to make. And without doubt the challenges he faces will be many and great.
Regardless of the size of the task ahead, America and the the world at large are indeed fortunate that such a gifted man is about to take charge of the world’s greatest democracy during these difficult times. The rebuilding of America’s image, its spheres of international influence and its domestic productive capacity will begin with the Obama Presidency. And the world will be much safer place as a result.
With best wishes from Australia
Go Obama /Yes you can