Thursday, October 23, 2008

Senator Barack Obama wins over Jamaica


From: The Jamaica Observer

We are not in the least surprised that Senator Barack Obama, the Democratic Party candidate, is the overwhelming choice of Jamaicans for United States president.

If there is any surprise in our online poll results published on the front page of today's edition, it is that Senator John McCain managed to pick up 5.7 per cent of Jamaicans who responded to the question "Who do most Jamaicans prefer to win the US presidential elections?"

Anecdotal evidence suggests that Jamaicans have always shown a preference for the Democratic Party, even when the former Edward Seaga administration enjoyed very close relations with the first Ronald Reagan Republican government.

But Jamaicans are not special in this regard. The way things are going, Mr Obama seems to be the candidate most Americans want in the White House after the November 4 presidential elections, if current poll results hold true.

Senator Obama is wildly popular and has been able to inspire people from across the globe who are rooting for him. The manner in which he has conducted his campaign, holding firm and steady to his good character and temperament, despite great provocation, has earned him supporters even from the Republican ranks in the US.
He has run a sensible campaign, largely bereft of the spite and malice that has characterised the McCain campaign, yet managing to outfox the Arizona senator on two counts.

First, Mr Obama opted against accepting state funds which would severely limit his spending, preferring to take his chance with donors. His confidence in the American people has paid off handsomely and he is now outspending Senator McCain four to one. Mr McCain, having accepted US$84 million in state funds, can spend no more up to November 4. As if to rub salt in the wound, Mr Obama raised a record-breaking US$150 million in September alone.

Second, when the bottom fell out of the American economy, Senator McCain opted for gimmickry, saying he was suspending his campaign to rush to Washington to help deal with the crisis.

In the process, he further isolated potential supporters in the state of Michigan where he was scheduled to go next.
For his part, Mr Obama got his economic advisers together and came up with a coherent plan to lead the country of the crisis, while continuing his campaign. Frightened Americans turned to the man they saw as a leader in their time of crisis.

Realising that Senator Obama had stolen a march on him, Senator McCain and the Republicans resorted to a blistering campaign to spread smear and fear, about Obama, the man, with dire consequences for their camp, and possibly for the country.

At the start of this week, the Barack Obama-Joe Biden ticket was maintaining its strong lead in the polls and importantly, the race for newspaper endorsements. As at Monday, the count was 115 newspapers to Mr Obama and 38 to Mr McCain. This brought the lead over the John McCain-Sarah Palin ticket to 3-1 in both the number and 4-1 in circulation of the papers.

Jamaicans are, indeed, in excellent company.

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