Quotes: US MENA   Enter Symbol: NewsLetter: Search: advanced

Four years later...  Join our daily free Newsletter

MENAFN - Khaleej Times - 07/11/2012

No. of Ratings : 0
Add to Mixx!


(MENAFN - Khaleej Times) FOUR YEARS ago, almost to this day, I flew to my home in New York from my base in Dubai in order to vote for Barack Obama.

I could have cast an absentee ballot in Dubai, of course, but this was history in the making - the first African-American president of the United States was about to be elected - and I wanted to be able to say that I was there when it happened.

So I voted in New York. On the evening of Election Day 2008, I went to the home of Ted Sorensen, who was President John F. Kennedy's closest aide, and his speechwriter. Ted and his wife Gillian traditionally hosted an election-night dinner, and on this occasion there were a number of high-profile guests such as the economist Jeffrey Sachs.

When CNN announced that Obama had defeated the Republican candidate Sen. John McCain and would become the 44th president of the United States, there wasn't a dry eye in the Sorensen's living room. I still recall how Professor Sachs kept saying, "Oh my, oh my."

And now it is four years later. Ted Sorensen is gone. I'm not sure that the Sorensen dinner has been continued by Gillian. President Obama is about to be reelected to a second term, if polls are right, and I'm in New Delhi, not New York.

I decided not to fly across to vote in person. I decided to stick to my schedule of research and interviews in India for a forthcoming book. The excitement of 2008 had diminished. After all, you can only vote once to elect the first black president for the first time. The second time around, he'd already become what he became.

I kept rooting for Barack Obama, to be sure. As a professional journalist for nearly five decades, however, I should have kept my political views to myself; the rules of the game suggested that I should have been even-handed about the two candidates - Obama, the Democrat, and Willard Mitt Romney, the Republican.

But in my reckoning, there was such a chasm between the two men, such a difference in their respective visions for governance, and such contrary views about America's role in dealing with the developing world - including India, my native country, and the Gulf, my adopted region - that it fetched no hesitation whatsoever to signal my political preference. The rules be damned.

And so I gave money to the Obama campaign - not a huge amount, but a figure that nevertheless made a dent in my pocketbook. I posted articles endlessly on Facebook about the presidential campaign. I diligently - even obsessively - followed the polls. I was even tempted to place a bet on InTrade.Com, the global betting site with a record for accuracy.

Most of all, I kept hoping that decency and fair play would triumph. It wasn't that Mr. Romney was an ogre; it was simply that his candidacy offered little comfort that he would look sympathetically at a wider world constituency consisting of more have-nots than haves.

Barack Obama possessed the sensibility that an American president - arguably the single most powerful political leader in the world - needed for the United States to relate better, to relate more sensitively to that constituency. The days are long gone when America can dominate the global bazaar; it may be the world's only military superpower, but now it has to contend with upcoming economic players such as China, India, and Brazil. Romney never really told us how he would deal with this rapidly changing scene; indeed, did he have any thoughts to relay beyond American triumphalism?

In my mind there was little doubt that, although the man elected on November 6, would initially have to make America's troubled economy a priority, he would need to reassure the bigger international community that the United States cared - that it cared enough to help uplift vast cohorts of people from poverty and ensure that they had a fair chance for a secure and prosperous life.

I felt Romney wasn't that man. Obama was - in his thoughts, in his general foreign policies, in his temperament. His background was one of personal familiarity with the larger world - the Third World - nestling outside the shrinking elitist confines of America's rich and privileged.

This is not to say that the next American president would significantly alter the dynamics of that world in the short run. There are simply too many fissures, too many problems of maldistribution of wealth, malfeasance and malgovernance in the Third World. But I felt that President Obama grasped those realities far better than his opponent; after all, he'd already had four years in the White House. Four more years, and he would refine his sensibilities about the Third World whose peoples constitute the overwhelming majority of the global population of nearly 7 billion.

We will see. As with all things political, the promise doesn't always play out. But I know that Barack Obama has his heart in the right place - just as I do in supporting him.


  MENA News Headlines
Apr 16 2014Air Arabia takes over as RAK official carrier ,MENAFN
(MENAFN) Air Arabia said that it will commence flights from Ras Al Khaimah (RAK) early next month, Arabian Business reported. The Sharjah-based carrier said that it will take over from RAK ...

Apr 16 2014Dubai Metro passengers hit 40.5m in Q1 ,MENAFN
(MENAFN) Passenger traffic on Dubai's Metro increased to more than 40.5 million in the January-March period of this year, Arabian Business repoted. The Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) said ...

Apr 16 2014Etihad, Fiji Airways ink codeshare deal ,MENAFN
(MENAFN) Etihad Airways and Fiji Airways have signed a codesharing agreement which allows reciprocal ticket sales between them, Arabian Business reported. Etihad said that the revenue from ...

Apr 16 2014Qatar's investments in infrastructure worth USD182.21 b ,MENAFN
(MENAFN) Qatar is planning to invest USD182.21 billion in infrastructure, avoiding projects in oil and gas sector, in the next five years, Minister of Economy and trade said yesterday, The Peninsula ...

Apr 16 2014Kuwait- GIC chief participates in ABANA Summit panel discussions ,Kuwait News Agency (KUNA)
(MENAFN - Kuwait News Agency (KUNA)) Shafic Ali, head of the Principal Investments Group at Gulf Investment Corporation (GIC) late Tuesday participated in a panel discussion on (Emerging Trends in ...

Apr 16 2014Today in Kuwait's history ,Kuwait News Agency (KUNA)
(MENAFN - Kuwait News Agency (KUNA)) 1961 -- First edition of "Al-Rai Al-Aam" newspaper hit the stands. 1962 -- Kuwait joined the United Nations (UN) Commission on Narcotic Drugs. 1972 -- The Amir ...

Apr 16 2014EU voices concern over increase of terrorist attacks in Nigeria ,Kuwait News Agency (KUNA)
(MENAFN - Kuwait News Agency (KUNA)) EU High Representative for foreign affairs and security policy Catherine Ashton late Tuesday "strongly condemned" the abduction of more than 100 school girls in ...

Apr 16 2014Reporters Without Borders says three more pressmen killed in Syria ,Kuwait News Agency (KUNA)
(MENAFN - Kuwait News Agency (KUNA)) Three more journalists have been killed by gunfire in the Syrian town of Maaloula, north of the capital Damascus, press freedom organisation Reporters Without ...

Apr 16 2014Three-day Sports Media Seminar begins in Doha ,The Peninsula
(MENAFN - The Peninsula) A group photograph of Arab sports journalists seen with TV personality Saad Al Rumaihi, Mohammed Al Malki, President of Qatar Press Sports Committee (QPSC), at Marriott Hotel ...

Apr 16 2014Prisoner's freedom sought for abducted Jordan ambassador ,Arab News
(MENAFN - Arab News) Tripoli: jordan's ambassador to libya was kidnapped on tuesday by gunmen who demanded a radical militant be released from a jordanian jail in exchange for the diplomat's ...

Apr 16 2014Saudi- Qur'an contest to be held in Jeddah next month ,Arab News
(MENAFN - Arab News) The saudi society of the holy qur'an and its sciences (tibyan) is going to hold a qur'an contest involving 60 universities from the public and private sectors next month in ...

Apr 16 2014Saudi- Philippines participates in Riyadh Travel Fair ,Arab News
(MENAFN - Arab News) The riyadh travel fair kicks off here in the kingdom tower on tudesday.the philippines will be represented by the department of tourism (dot) representatives glenn raymond ...

Apr 16 2014Saudi- New arbitration center hailed by leading figures ,Arab News
(MENAFN - Arab News) Lawyers legal arbitrators and businessmen described the decision to establish a saudi commercial arbitration center which was approved by the council of ministers in its ...

Apr 16 2014Saudi- Prices of fruits vegetables in Jeddah rise ,Arab News
(MENAFN - Arab News) There has been a 50-percent increase in the price of fruits and vegetables over the past 10 days due to an imbalance in supply and demand said esmat abuzinada head of ...

Apr 16 2014Private schools urged to use fingerprint systems ,Arab News
(MENAFN - Arab News) A number of public schools have applied the biometrics attendance system on students in line with the ministry of education's new regulation.the new system electronically ...

Apr 16 2014Saudi- Exhibit to showcase 1000 paintings ,Arab News
(MENAFN - Arab News) Arabian wings (aw) will kick off fiesta 1000 a display of 1000 paintings in jeddah on thursday at the al-furusya yacht club. 'the project has received support from different ...

Apr 16 2014Saudi- Technology remains core criteria for university education ,Arab News
(MENAFN - Arab News) Technology has become a core component at higher education institutions said higher education minister khaled al-anqari on tuesday during the opening address of the fifth ...

Apr 16 2014Saudi- Sponsors to pay fines for illegals ,Arab News
(MENAFN - Arab News) The labor ministry on tuesday announced extra measures to stop illegal visa trade and streamline the labor market. a senior official said saudi sponsors involved in the ...

Apr 16 2014Mentally ill kills family of 4 before ending life ,Arab News
(MENAFN - Arab News) A sudanese man his wife and three children were found dead in their apartment in riyadh on monday the police said.'preliminary investigations showed that the 46-year-old head ...

Apr 16 2014'My Saudi posting was a blessing from God' ,Arab News
(MENAFN - Arab News) Outgoing indian consul general faiz ahmed kidwai who is leaving after serving here for three years says it was a 'blessing from god" to have had a posting in saudi arabia.in a ...





Middle East North Africa - Financial Network

MENAFN News Market Data Countries Tools Section  

Middle East North Africa - Financial Network

Main News
News By Industry
News By Country
Marketwatch News
UPI News
Comtex News

IPO News
Islamic Finance News
Private Equity News

How-To Guides
Technology Section

Travel Section

Search News

Market Indices
Quotes & Charts

Global Indices
Arab Indices

US Markets Details


Oil & Energy

Currencies Cross Rates
Currencies Updates
Currency Converter

USA Stocks
Arab Stocks

Saudi Arabia 

Investment Game
Economic Calendar
Financial Glossary

Portfolio Tracker


Financial Calculators

RSS Feeds [XML]

Corporate Monitor


Real Estate
Submit Your Property

Arab Research
Buy a Research

Press Releases
Submit your PR

Join Newsletters

© 2000 menafn.com All Rights Reserved.  Terms of Service | Privacy Policy | Contact Us | Advertise | About MENAFN | Career Opportunities | Feedback | Help