Article added on November 5, 2008 at 07:05 Swiss time; date corrected at 10:45
On November 4, 2008 the American voters have decided
Barack Obama will be their next president.
As early as 03:35 Swiss time, the race was over, after CNN predicted that
Barack Obama would carry Ohio. Earlier, the same channel had announced that
the Democratic presidential candidate would win Pennsylvania.
The United States will get a man
who has no executive experience, never led anything and no
bipartisan record, despite his famous speech about
“no blue states, no red states”.
Both in Chicago and Washington, D.C. Barack Obama has distinguished himself
by a very “liberal” - better: social-democratic - voting record. He is a protectionist
who has pandered to voters seeking subsidies (e.g. farmers).
President Obama will be a leader with no deep
understanding of the economy, foreign affairs and security policy. But he is
a quick learner.
Let's HOPE that Obama will CHANGE.
As early as
in January 2008, I wrote that
“it's the economy stupid”. It seems that John McCain did not get the message. In
fairness, he had to fight an almost impossible uphill battle against a very
George W. Bush aka the Torturer with his mismanaged war in Iraq, the
reintroduction of torture, the lack of fiscal discipline and oversight over
the economy has severely damaged the Republican party.
John McCain himself is not innocent in the defeat. His campaign against the
best-oiled machine in party history lacked coherence and the necessary
groundwork. McCain should have been warned when Obama managed to beat
Hillary Clinton and her well-oiled campaign.
With his negative campaign, McCain damaged his brand as an honest maverick.
He just should have pointed out to the fact that Obama has no experience and
no bipartisan record.
It was John McCain who stood up against torture, who led the fight in
Congress for the surge. In short, McCain paved the way for the more
successful strategy in Iraq which will probably lead to an early withdrawal
of the US troops from Iraq.
Obama opposed the surge and advocated a quick withdrawal of the troops
regardless of what happens on the ground. With Obama's initial plan, the US
troops would already have come home. Iraq would probably have ended up in a
civil war by now. Obama should thank McCain and General Petraeus. Thanks to
their efforts, the war is no longer the voters' primary concern.
Barack Obama should also thank President Bush who appointed Colin Powell and
Condoleezza Rice. With their demonstration of competence in high office,
they paved the way for the first African-American president.
Incidentally, let's hope that President Obama will have a long life. If a
racist nut should kill him, Joe Biden would create a mess. Biden and Obama
consider the New Deal an inspirational - for me a rather dubious - model.
But in an interview, Biden said that, in 1929, Roosevelt was president and
people were watching him on TV. In addition, in the
vice presidential debate,
"When we kicked -- along with France, we kicked Hezbollah
out of Lebanon." Biden, the foreign and security policy
The Democratic vice presidential candidate got a free ride from the press
who concentrated on Sarah Palin's deficiencies.
Lock him up or at least make sure he has no influence on Obama's policies.
As for President-elect Barack Obama, so far, he has distinguished himself as
the master of the teleprompter and of grandstanding. He has consistently
voted for higher taxes, additional subsidies and other protectionist
measures. However, the world needs a free trader in the White House.
To bring the troops back from Iraq may be a popular goal. But the Free World
cannot afford American isolationism. Even a partial absence from the world
stage could create a dangerous vacuum of power, which the European Union and
other democracies cannot fill right now.
In order to become a successful president, Barack Obama will have to
disappoint some voters. Among his supporters were especially young, Hispanic
and African-Americans voters. They must understand that the state is not the
solution to all their problems. In his acceptance speech, Barack Obama
cautiously tempered expectations.
Let's give President Obama a chance. Unlike George W. Bush aka The
Torturer, he is intelligent enough to be able to CHANGE if necessary. Let him
now really move to
the center, withstand pressure from the newly elected Democratic Congress to
run to the left - social-democracy is a slippery slope towards decline - and instead become a centrist president.
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