Saturday, February 02, 2008

My endorsement for Barack Obama

I resisted the temptation of writing this post for a while. I was cynical, like most Americans, if Barack Obama can even stand a chance of being the president. The conventional wisdom said no way. His Iowa win was followed by losses in New Hampshire and Nevada. She had huge leads in opinion polls in most states - 25 percentage points, 30 percentage points or more. She was virtually assured to win the biggest states.

I am following politics for a long time - the dramatic rise of BJP in Indian political scene, the night of 6th December 1992 - which changed the politics in India forever, the remarkable speeches by Vajpayee and much more. Never ever I have seen such an inspirational leader like Obama, nor I have seen such an amazing outflow of support in such a short time for one person.

State after state, the leads for Hillary are shrinking. The states where Obama had no chance would all come into play this Tuesday and after. Opinions polls do not mean that much just by themselves - but when viewed along with the spontaneous endorsements by established democratic leaders and popular unions and big newspapers across the country - it is impossible to ignore the momentum Obama would still not win all the states - but he would be more competitive in New York than Hillary would be in Illinois and leave with a huge chunk of delegates from California. That says a lot. It is not everyday that registered republicans come out in the support of a liberal democrat.

Watching his speeches almost brings tears to the eyes. I always liked motivational leaders, mavericks, who think out of the box and have the courage to follow that up. We saw Martin Luther King only in youtube and read about John F Kennedy in history books. Somehow, in some way, Obama is a leader in the same spirit. History will judge how much he would succeed. But this is very clear - this is an incredible moment in history - whether Barack gets the nomination or not - he had a made millions a believer in politics again - which happens so rarely.

And incredibly, this is personal too. I know I would never be a politician, would never run for a public office. However, from the day I read in the history books that only someone born in United States can be a president, I always felt proud that one day I can run for that position. Of course I knew I would never. But when I see a non-white guy, with a funny name, whose father immigrated from Kenya, and having no political background, running from president, something tells me inside that achieving something and dreaming about it in this country may not be so improbable after all.

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