07 November 2008

Why Obama won?

This is a simplistic view on why Obama won.

1. The two wars.

Americans were fed up with Bush as a war monger. The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan does not show any signs of ending. Body bags of young Americans killed in the two wars are regularly shipped back to America while Bush still insist that the US Military presence is needed there, without specifying any withdrawal date. John McCain has the same foreign policy as Bush while the threat of another two wars with Syria and Iran are looming. Barack Obama has specified 2010 for US military withdrawal from Iraq. He prefers dialog with Iran and Syria rather than gunboat diplomacy.

2.John McCain’s age.

It turned out that this factor trumped race. John Sidney McCain would have been the oldest person ever elected to a first term as President. Many voters were simply not comfortable with the prospect of their President being 72 years old. Barrack Obama is 47 years young. John F Kennedy was only 43 years old when he was elected US President.

3.The global world economic crisis.

Neither McCain, nor Obama had done much of anything to cause the problems in the housing and mortgage banking sectors that froze up credit around the world, sunk banks, and wreaked havoc with stock prices; yet this development altered the dynamic of the election almost overnight. Many believe that the financial crisis was brought about by Bush's economic policy and Republicans supported his handling (or mishandling) of the problems. Obama pounce on this issue by using the battle cry 'Change, Yes we can'. Once that concept took root, the great election of 2008 was essentially over, except for the counting of the votes. Obama should thank Mahathir for this battle cry "Yes We Can" - "Malaysia Boleh"

4.Barack Obama's charisma and magic appeal.

Obama has John F Kennedy's charisma, Ronald Reagan's optimism, Clinton's gift of the gab and Mahathir's steely determination. Obama also appears to be an utterly devoted family man, voters still want that in the wake of the Clinton years, while offering the most untraditional résumé and family background ever had in a president. In the end, the biracial aspect of his candidacy appealed not just to African American voters but also to tens of millions of socially liberal whites, Latinos, immigrants, and young people. Obama is handsome and likeable, and a natural orator. He put together a superb campaign organization, and he never once lost his cool.

5.The Bush and Republican factor.

George W. Bush was largely unpopular.Bush has been president and head of the Republican Party for the past eight years, and his job approval rating hovers just below 30 percent. This number puts him in the company of the likes of Harry Truman, Richard Nixon, and Jimmy Carter in their waning days in office. The White House switched parties after they left office. McCain’s own problems ran even deeper. The single policy that hurt Bush’s standing the most was the decision to invade and occupy Iraq. McCain championed this course of action himself, and did so throughout the campaign. Other factors eroded Republican standing as well. They included the perception that the Republican Congress had run up huge federal budget deficits, and to enrich their own political coffers, sometimes enriching their own private bank accounts, on the backs of the greater public good.

6.The Debate.

In all three of the presidential debates, Obama was so even keel, you felt like you had to take his pulse. The guy was simply unflappable and cool. McCain could not rattle him. Obama showed himself to be very presidential in those three debates by remaining calm, talking sensibly and smiling. He conveyed hope, optimism and a steady influence. McCain tried to do the same but it felt forced and negative. Once again, Americans were able to compare and contrast and they liked what they saw in Obama.

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