184. A beautiful day – Barack Obama wins the Democratic nomination

barack-obama-st-paul-minnesota-03jun2008-source-ap“Tonight we mark the end of one historic journey with the beginning of another — a journey that will bring a new and better day to America,” said Barack Obama in St Paul, Minnesota, earlier this week.

He had taken the stage for his Democratic nomination victory speech to the sounds of U2’s ‘Beautiful Day’.

It was a grateful message, for a domestic audience, at the end of a bruising and extended primary campaign. And this November, let’s hope for a better day, not just for America, but far beyond as well.

All around the world, we yearn for a US President who can engage across frontiers. A President who understands foreign policy, because he actually has a passport. A President who’ll belatedly bring change, on global warming and Guantanamo. A President elected by engaged voters, who will re-engage America with the rest of the world.

We’ve all waited such a long time for this moment, and finally it’s in sight at last. Grab onto hope, America, run with it, and take us with you.

Define your vision not with fear and torture, but by building new bridges beyond your shores. Spring the bounds between west and Middle East.

Leave religion and race behind, whilst embracing diversity and tolerance – the watchwords of America’s historic past resounding through the renaissance of her bright new future.

It’s a beautiful day, America. Don’t let it get away. beautiful-day-by-u2

184. A beautiful day - Barack Obama wins the Democratic nomination : : 184. A beautiful day - Barack Obama wins the Democratic nomination : :

184. A beautiful day - Barack Obama wins the Democratic nomination : : 184. A beautiful day - Barack Obama wins the Democratic nomination : :

184. A beautiful day - Barack Obama wins the Democratic nomination : : 184. A beautiful day - Barack Obama wins the Democratic nomination

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6 responses to “184. A beautiful day – Barack Obama wins the Democratic nomination

  1. Sharon Vance

    I am really happy for you and I want you to know that I am praying for you during these next few months that God will allow you to be President Of the United States of America. May God Bless Your Family is my prayer. Praying for you every day.

  2. I’m sure Mr Obama is grateful for your prayers and good wishes, Sharon, but the election isn’t until November. Although I agree that thanks to Mrs Clinton’s tenacity, it seems like there’s been an election already.

    That’s democracy in action. Let’s see where it takes America now.

    All best wishes to you, from London.

  3. Leave religion and race behind, whilst embracing diversity and tolerance

    I have some hope for the first pair, little for the second. For a country that was founded on tolerance, we seem to have become disgustingly intolerant, at least a vocal and demonstrative segment of society has.

    But that doesn’t mean I think Obama can’t win. He can. He has enfranchised millions of first-time voters, mostly young, and there are more in the wings. And frankly, if some blacks cast their first vote because a black is on the ticket, I will embrace that. It’s high time they feel — and know — they are part of the political process too. Everyone’s dreams should have wings.

    It’s been gratifying to read all the positive reactions in the world press, especially Europe, and exciting to have a candidate who is a citizen of the world.

    (Brits for Barry! Yeah!)

  4. Excellent, Ella. It’s long been said to me that the Democrats shouldn’t choose Obama for their nomination, because America isn’t ready to vote for a black man.

    So now we’re about to find out if America can confound such limited expectations, and I agree with you that she really can.

    And yet, in so many ways, Obama is a post-racial candidate. As you say, he is a citizen of the world.

    It’s hard to explain just how important it is for us in Europe for you to have a US President who sees beyond the borders of narrow self-interest.

    We all depend on the powerhouse of the American economy, but more than that we still somehow expect America to be the guardian of democracy and a shining example in the areas of human rights and equal opportunity.

    That’s why tales of Guantanamo and extreme rendition have done so much damage.

    Every nation has faults in the way that it treats its citizens, but in this case it is the clear link between the administration and these hateful acts which has so undermined America’s status abroad.

    It is one thing to criticise a foreign despot for unlawful detention and interrogation under torture, and quite another when this is a policy set out and approved by the leader of the so-called free world.

    Mr McCain is a man of undoubted bravery and patriotism. But even he veers towards the language of revenge. In talking of a ‘hundred years war’ in the Middle East he shows no understanding of how badly our aggression in Afghanistan and Iraq has already played out.

    Contrary to Republican claims, I don’t expect Mr Obama to be soft on terrorism. Far from it – his language on foreign policy has already modified and he takes a firmer line now that he is secure in the nomination.

    But his instinct will surely be to build understanding and to seek common ground where this can be found.

    I’ve worked a fair amount in Arab countries. In my experience, it’s impossible to underestimate the importance of taking the time to build trust and understanding.

    More can be achieved with a warm smile and the twinkle of an eye across a Turkish coffee than can ever be accomplished with urgent demands, impatience and aggressive deadlines.

    The appreciation of such Realpolitik is difficult for many westerners, yet is something which Mr Obama seems to carry in his veins.

    Mr McCain’s sabre-rattling might play out well at home, but, it runs counter-productively to America’s interests in the Middle East and in many other parts of the world beyond as well.

  5. I’m with you on this one Roads.
    I’m sensing the same congregation of endorphins I got in 1997 when one Tony Blair swept to power. Let’s hope we get a different outcome this time.

    My worry for ‘Barry’ is not his ability to win the Big One – he certainly can, provided there’s no Zimbabwean fudge as there was in Chad Valley last time around. No, I’m sorry to say my concerns surround the men surrounding Barry and his kin. Should this man of hope (unlike the imposter who actually came from Hope) make it to the White House I think the Secret Service will have their work cut out. It’s one thing to track the movements of Islamic militants, quite another to keep tabs on all the hood-wearing rednecks gathered in their woodsheds.

    Is America ready to vote a black man to lead them?
    I hope so with every fibre of my being . This man speaks and I hear echoes of Kennedy not only in his words but from his heart. He’s slick, sure; he knows his own strengths and plays on them to great effect. His speech to AIPAC, which I was lucky enough to hear in full, demonstrated his ability to play to a crowd. I have no doubt he could elicit a standing ovation from all but the most committed group of one-eyed opponents.

    But it’s that other unthinkable parallel with JFK which lurks like a raincloud on the horizon of this beautiful blue-sky future. I don’t want to dwell on this; I already feel like one of Disney’s vultures mapping out Mowgli’s short and horrible future.

    If he makes it and lives long enough to get those wheels of change in motion we might see something I’d never have thought possible; a brighter future for all the children of the world. It’s a hell of a burden to carry, Barry; I hope your shoulders are broad.

    Come on America; you owe us a decent result.

  6. Well, Sweder. I’ve heard that said before, but let’s hope that your anxiety is misplaced.

    I’m sure Mr Obama would agree with Franklin D. Roosevelt’s great quote: ‘We have nothing to fear but fear itself’.

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