Obama commentary round-up.

A small portrait of the translator

November 26, 2008 @ 19:25 UTC

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Barack Obama
Media & Internet, Government & Politics

A few weeks have passed since the historic US election on November 4th and the dust is still settling. Derek Walcott wrote a poem, Alice Walker wrote a letter and everybody in between is wondering what this election actually means.

I thought I would share with you some of the best commentary on the election and the impending Presidency that I had read around the net.

This article / interview from CNN is quite interesting. Dr. Alvin Poussaint, a one-time script analyst on the Cosby show, looks at the impact of Obama as a symbol for young black children:

We’re going to have a generation of children — if he’s in there for eight years — being born in 2009, looking at television and images, hearing before they can talk, absorbing it in their brain and being wired to see the visual images of a black man being president of the United States and understanding very early that that’s the highest position in the United States.
– Dr. Alvin Poussaint

This comes in video form from my new BFF’s at the Real News Network. It’s a commentary by Pepe Escobar entitled “The shock of new: the popular president-elect meets the all-time unpopular president at the White House.”

When Barack stepped inside the Oval Office for the first time, he had to be thinking, “How on earth am I going to undo this legacy?”—crimes against the Constitution, crimes against human rights, crimes against US and international law, war crimes, shock and awe, Guantanamo, Abu Ghraib, Bagram, extraordinary rendition, torture, Arabs as terrorists, the separation of powers thrown down the toilet, a US police and surveillance state, a monster financial crisis caused by excessive deregulation.

Quite so.

Again from the Real News Network a video interview of 2008 Presidential candidate Ralph Nader speaking on an Obama presidency. They filmed this as the results of November 4th were coming in. A tad ironic, but as always Nader is spot on with his analysis:

NADER: That’s the first tip that you get: you see who he surrounds himself with.

The interview is in three parts, so collect them all!

Using the Nader quote as a segue, I’ll move onto this piece from Democracy Now. Please watch this lively debate between Jeremy Scahill, Democracy Now correspondent and David Corn from Mother Jones Magazine. They called the melee “Agents of Change or Hawks, Clintonites and Neocons? A Discussion about Barack Obama’s Advisers and Transition Team

Exhibit A: Yes there is Change.

So, while, you know, we can argue and scream—and I’m not a fan of the possible Hillary Clinton appointment to the State Department—you know, the transition team does include people who are genuine policy advocates, who, if they get a chance to have any authority, could indeed be agents of change. – David Corn

Exhibit B: Um. Look again.

I think, you know, you have Obama, the orator, and you have Obama’s rhetoric. And then you have what I think is more important, which is who is he surrounding himself with and what are his actual foreign policies.
– Jeremy Scahill

Very interesting stuff.

We will know soon enough what an Obama Presidency will bring, but in the meantime, I agree with Scahill and Nader that the best way to see the future is to examine closely the pasts of the people Obama puts in key positions of authority.

Scahill has more detail in his article here. And David Corn’s view from the other side of the fence is here.

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