Why Obama Could Be Next President of U.S.

In order to understand the popularity of Barack Obama, we must take into account the profound cynicism of the American people towards their own politicians for the last fifty years.

The capacity Obama has to move and inspire people has often caused comparisons to John F. Kennedy.

Kennedy represents a mythical figure. He is the president who offered a progressive and positive vision of the US, and Americans remember him as the last great President of the country. After his assassination, Lyndon B. Johnson became President and that began the Vietnam War era.

From President Nixon, the American people retain memories of the bombing of Cambodia, the defeat in Vietnam, and the Watergate scandal. When the nation needed a man of integrity, Jimmy Carter was elected, and although judged “credible,” he was seen as weak during the Iranian hostage crisis.

Many Americans would say that Ronald Reagan was one of the greatest US Presidents, but others remember enormous budget deficits and his simplistic interpretations of national problems. The first George Bush accomplished a “correct” mandate, but had the bad luck to run for re-election during an economic slowdown.

After Bill Clinton, the American electorate was so divided that George W. Bush won the presidency with little or no advantage over Al Gore. Since then, Americans lived through September 11, the Afghan and Iraq wars, and, lastly, the collapse of the economy.

It is in this context that two very different politicians appeared, looking for the Democratic nomination. Aside from the face that she is the first woman and he the first African-American to get this far in the race, each one offers a specific vision of how to face the challenges currently facing America.

Hillary Clinton has competence, and has developed political positions on a number of questions. At a certain level, she is asking voters to have confidence in her in order to repeat the successes of the presidency of her husband.

Barack Obama, on the other hand, offers hope. Like Kennedy, Reagan and Clinton, he makes Americans feel that they can do better in every domain, and states that this election is a choice between “the past and the future.” The actual success of the Obama campaign is due to his ability to give Americans hope of going beyond current divisiveness and of coming together again.

To understand the reasons that Obama is so strong in the US, we must go back to the success of Kennedy over Nixon in 1960. At that moment, the current explanation for why the young and little-experienced senator from Massachusetts could beat the popular Vice President was that Kennedy was the one who understood how to present himself on television.

What is clear about Obama’s campaign is that the Internet was used as never before to raise funds, heighten the candidate’s visibility, and mobilize voters.

Both the media and the message have been directed toward people under 35, who massively support the candidate. Almost 100,000 people have made donations each month, and most of them had never before given to a political campaign.

A musician turned Obama’s speeches into music videos which Internet users then sent to their friends in asking them to vote (www.dipdive.com).

Will this campaign excitement last until the national convention in August? The road is long and the race is far from finished….Hillary Clinton hopes to win Ohio and Texas today. The most interesting question is perhaps to imagine the Obama arrives at the convention with a majority of delegates: in that case, will the 796 Super Delegates on the party divide between the two candidates or will they form a coalition to support Clinton? Obama has stated that it would be “imprudent” to go against the will of the people, but we must wait until the convention to see what will actually happen…

About this publication

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply