Obama and Hillary in a dead heat in Texas

A small portrait of the translator

February 22, 2008 @ 14:26 UTC

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Tanzania, South Africa
Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, John McCain
Civil Rights & Ethnicity, International Relations, Health Care

George W. Bush got a little bothered in Tanzania over the weekend when a reporter asked what he thought of Obama’s popularism in Africa. The President quipped that he thought, he was pretty popular too. And that is no surprise, surprisingly the Bush Administration has made great strides in Africa with U.S. Aid in fighting malaria, HIV/AIDS and other diseases despite criticism that the Administration’s support of pepfar and the A.B.C. approach of fighting HIV/AIDS along with faith based initiatives is wrong.

African’s have a lot of hope that Obama will do great things for Africa because of his heritage; a lot closer to Africa than most African Americans, since Obama’s father was a Kenyan himself; rather than someone who traces their African lineage through centuries, Obama has a very real and present relationship with Africa.

But the best that Obama will be able to offer Africa will look not dissimilar to what Bush has offered the continent over the last 7 years; namely aid packages that are finally linked to achievements on the ground before more aid is opened up, which leads to diminished corruption and more funds reaching the people who should receive from the U.S.’s generous giving.

But Obama’s right to contest for the Presidency against John McCain in November, is not assured, with the battle of Texas between Obama and Clinton looking to be a dead heat; increasingly it looks like super delegates will be the way in which the candidate is chosen at the convention, which will provide McCain with a massive head start in the national race, as well as the very real possibility that the popular candidate (who may well be Obama) being side-lined by the candidate with the most battle hardened political operatives (namely Clinton).

What may swing the balance is that in Barack Obama, the Democratic party may finally have a candidate who can be as inspirational as John F. Kennedy; the touchstone of inspirational president’s of the last 50 years.

Bill Clinton may have been ‘the first black president’, but Obama will show that being black and being the president doesn’t equate to folksy chicken cook outs; in Obama black Americans, and indeed black people across the world have a role model that shows that excellence transcends race.

That is if Hillary doesn’t take this momentous opportunity for change in Washington away from him.

And my new little long shot/what-if dream of this campaign? Would Hillary run with McCain on a joint Democrat/Republican Washington Establishment ticket against Obama? Now THAT would be a race of my dreams….

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