Obama Breaks Through

A black candidate, Senator Barack Obama, yesterday gathered enough delegates together for the Democratic candidacy for the presidency. This is a historic event, even if he eventually does not become president.

Many Americans have themselves experienced the time when in the Southern states discrimination against black was anchored in law. Such recent history, with roots in the time of slavery, has for years poisoned relations between blacks and non-blacks in the United States.

Symptoms of this are the insinuations about Obama’s allegedly scant leadership capabilities and about the radical sermons by an old, black reverend who was affiliated with Obama in the past.

These obstacles have not prevented Obama from winning the primaries. Obama is not the candidate of the elite. He represents a new generation of post baby-boomers.

The political undercurrent that helped Obama to victory made creative use of the Internet to mobilize voters, to generate news, and to raise funds, down to and including the smallest amounts. That may come in useful during the elections this fall.

At the end of last year, Senator Hillary Clinton was still the favorite candidate of the (Democratic) Party establishment. Never before has a woman come so close to becoming the Party’s candidate for the presidency. She lost with only a small difference in votes. During the first election successes, she ran into a setback from which she later was not able to recover. Her marriage to former President Clinton has delivered power for her in the Party machine. But gradually her husband became a handicap in the race. Bill Clinton was not able to settle down in the usual supporting role of a spouse. This makes it difficult for Obama to ask Hillary Clinton to be his vice-president. She drags in with her not only a restless ex-president, but also a very dynastic connection. This can make for some very unpleasant surprises.

Yet it is important that Obama and his political opponent reconcile. Many female voters are indignant over the way in which Hillary Clinton has been belittled by Conservative voters. For her part, Clinton will finally have to give up the fight. It is important for her own political future that she makes an effort (to support) Obama.

The presidential elections are by no means finished. Just as the Democrats are internally divided, so are the Republicans. During the lengthy primaries, Obama has been subjected to every possible political test. His old Republican opponent, John McCain, is yet to receive the full blast of negative attention. Just like Obama, he is not his Party’s favorite candidate. It appears that the unattached, independent voters will be the deciding factor during this fall’s general elections.

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