Colour Blindness

He was born in 1961 to an economist from Kenya and an anthropologist from Kansas.  He grew up in a modest home, was raised by a single mother, and went on to earn his law degree from Harvard in 1991, where he became the first African-American president of the Harvard Law Review.  Just 47 years old, and only four years into a national political career, he has never run anything larger than his campaign.

Barack Hussein Obama Jr. is running for what is arguably the most powerful office on Earth – the President of the United States.

“I want to campaign the same way I govern, which is to respond directly and forcefully with the truth,”  — Barack Obama

The US has today entered the final stages of election, and soon the verdict will be out.  While various polling surveys have shown that Obama is leading by 5-7%, there are countless analysts who argue that he will eventually lose, thanks to the Bradley Effect.  Until it’s all over, we may never know if America is ready to accept the notion of a “black family moving into the White House”.

If you watch TV or read dailies, it’s hard to ignore the amount of coverage this one election has received in the world media.  If you’re still undecided, you only have to hear the two candidates speak for a half hour, to make up your mind of the two!

Why does this affect you and me?  Well, it is the office of the President of the United States – a position that impacts (for better or worse), a lot of the world’s functioning.  Personally, the Obama vs McCain battle is also the first US presidential duel that I understand in some depth.  After more than a decade of working in industry, and being aware of economic and political issues and their impact on Life, Obama is the first promise of hope that I am seeing in a long long time…

The New York Times has an excellent page on Obama, alongwith a rich timeline of the milestones he’s achieved:

Mention a theory and Mr. Obama asks how it translates on the ground. He orchestrates debate, playing participants off each other — and then highlights their areas of agreement. He constantly restates others’ contributions in his own invariably more eloquent words. But when the session ends, his view can remain a mystery, and his ultimate call is sometimes a surprise to everyone who was present.

And, Obama’s own website has tons of details on the candidate, should you wish to learn more.

The time for change has come.  I only hope America is ready for it…

 

Update : Nov 5, 2008 (IST)

He won! 

WASHINGTON (AP): Barack Obama was elected the nation’s first black president Tuesday night in a historic triumph that overcame racial barriers as old as America itself.

BBC World News (Obama’s acceptance speech): “It’s been a long time coming, but tonight… change has come to America,” the president-elect told a jubilant crowd at a park in Chicago.

 

Update : Jan 20, 2009

A short time ago, Barack Obama was sworn in as the 44th president of the United States and his new administration officially came to life.

Update : Oct 11, 2009

The Nobel Committee just awarded Obama the Peace prize for 2009.  As it turns out, his nomination for the prize would have had to happen when he was just days into his new administration.

As millions around the world, I think that the committee was not acting responsibly in conferring this award to him, and he should have honourably declined to accept it.  I agree with Time magazine that, with this decision, “The achievements of all previous winners have been diminished“. 

See More, Read More:

White House: Obama’s Inaugural Address | The White House Blog
CNN: Obama Makes History: Acceptance speech: Video (18 min.) | Transcript
CNN : McCain Concedes Presidency: Video (10 min.) | Transcript

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