Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Landslide for Obama

(Dilan, Ellen, Gabriella and Me)
( Warren and Me)

(Philip and Me)

( Joy and relief at Obama party)

Tonight is a historic night for Barack Hussein Obama II, the son of a Kenyan Barack Hussein Obama, Sr. and a white American Ann Dunham. Obama picked up nearly 338 electoral college compared to McCain's 156. This is a landslide win.
Earlier at Colorado Springs, I visited several election posts and had a chance to speak to a significant black activist from the county, senior pastor Rev. James McMearn. Rev. McMearn believes other African American leaders such as Rev. Jesse Jackson have made it possible for Obama to come this far. He acknowledges the transformational effect of Obama's election as the 44th President of USA.

His observation cannot be more accurate. At the Obama party, an African American woman rushed up to hug me after it was obvious that Obama has clinched the presidency. People of all ethnicities shed their tears of joy together and exchanged hugs and kisses. This is a true transformation and it has started tonight.

It is undeniable that this election is ground breaking for the United States of America. It has mobilises and motivates more Americans than any other elections in the history of American politics. He is the first African American president and the first African American presidential candidate who is able to garner massive support from across ethnicity, creed and gender.

What are the contributory factors to Obama's win? There are several; his personality, strategy, consistency and the current political environment.

Obama's cool headed approach and demeanour was exclusively identified as an important contributor to him being seen as more presidential than his hot headed opponent.

McCain's attack on Obama lack of experience backfired when he picked Sarah Palin as his running mate. Like I have said in my previous post, the nomination of Palin will become a case study of poor political decision for many more months to come.

There is a valuable lesson for McCain to bring home from this historic contest. Do not ignore the influence and support of a growing middle ground. Many staunch republican supporters (Reagan Republicans) have deserted his campaign for moving to the extreme right of his party.

Obama's campaign is set to become a model for all election campaigns in the future. Many aspects of his campaigns will be carefully studied and copied in the future - from fund raising, organisation to his consistent political messages. The most unique part of his campaign is the spirit itself. The way Obama was able to move and motivate his supporters to be part of his Change movement is something not easily replicated. It comes from the heart.

McCain's generosity in his speech conceding defeat to Obama has earned him respect from his opponents. McCain has redeemed his credibility tonight.

This is clearly an election Americans are looking for leadership, hope, solution to their growing economic woes and to end their anxiety of the ongoing wars in Iraq and Afghanistan which they want to end. This is also an election where being ordinary or 'just like the folks' is not enough. Americans are looking for something extraordinary.

This is an election which has breached all ethnic lines. It has changed the way the world look at America. This is no longer a white supremacist country. America is PLURAL. Societies around the world must not miss to draw some valuable lessons from this historical election. Most important is what the Malaysian society can learn from the US presidential election.
If we cannot free ourselves from the strong grip of racial politics and racism, there is little for us to look forward to. This society will continue to be fractious. We will continue to allow silly racial rhetoric, mutual distrust and fear to stop us from making a real change which can help to bring us together as a nation. We should seriously scrutinize those who have been so generous with their racial slurs and statements and find out what they have done for us.

In this election too, I am fortunate enough to meet many good people. Apart from the extraordinary experience I am bringing back with me I am fortunate to have my friendship accepted in the most sincere manner. These friendships are something valuable I will bring back with me too to Malaysia.


koolgeek said...

And our Rocky at home is questioning the purity of his black blood.


The US Presidential election campaign has opened a new chapter for US imperialism. The overwhelming opposition to the policies of the Bush regime and the onset of a deep and serious recession has seen a mass demand for ‘change’. Massive enthusiasm and high expectations have been aroused, especially among young people and Afro-Americans in the Democratic candidate, Barak Obama. The enthusiasm and hopes of what his presidency will mean goes beyond the USA. In poll after poll in Europe, Latin America, Asia and Africa, Obama is by far the favoured candidate. While the outcome of the election to the Congress and scale of the Democrat majority, especially in the House of Representatives, will be important factors in determining what Obama actually does in some spheres of US intervention, one thing is clear: Obama is coming to power in an entirely different world situation than when Bush and the neo-cons took power in 2000. The question of US foreign policy in the post-Bush era is being posed sharply.


SH Tan said...

I would not say that Obama has garnered "massive" support across all lines. The popular votes were split 52-47 or only a 5% majority. This gave him only about a 6.4M votes margin which I would not say "massive". I am surprised by Florida which was split 51-49 in Obama's favour. I had expected a bigger margin with the number of hispanics there.

Anonymous said...

50 years ago, they had some of the worst issues over race and civil rights, and now they have a black president. 50 years ago Malaysia was a land of hope without racial problems, and now look at us!

Khoo Kay Peng said...

SH Tan,

It is a landslide by American standards. Cannot compare this to our own country.

The black turnout was not extraordinary. He got the support from all ethnicities.

Anonymous said...

mc cain is a lame duck and a stupid republican not because barak hussein obama is good.

Baru said...

The Unthinkable Happened: America Elects a Black President
Wednesday, November 05, 2008

We ask:

Will Malaysians ever see in their life time a Chinese/Indian/Iban/ Dayak Malaysian Prime Minister or even a Deputy Prime Minister?

Unlikely, as long as we choose to continue to elect UMNO to win government.
- Malaysian Unplug


Anonymous said...

malaysia PM takes a dig at the results.......PUTRAJAYA: It is possible for anyone from a minority group to be a nation’s leader, even in Malaysia, says Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Badawi.

~ roach ~

Ellen said...

Hello khoo! This is one of the girls who took a picture with you. It was very nice meeting you and I enjoyed reading your blog! I hope you had a pleasant time in America on the campaign trail! Obama's victory was a great one!