Obama for President?

So it’s official that Barack Obama has got the Democratic Party caucus vote from the state of Iowa, beating rivals John Edwards and Hillary Clinton. On the Republican front, Mike Huckabee has come out tops in Iowa.

Of course, this is just the first of many caucuses and primaries leading to the party nominations. But I like the results I see so far from both camps. Whatever it is, please let’s not have Hillary Clinton or Rudy Giuliani ending up in the White House.

I’ve been following Obama’s campaign on the Internet for several months now, and I must say I’m rather impressed with the man. There is something different about him. Inspirational leadership is what comes to my mind.

I remember watching a video of a speech he made in a predominantly black church in South Carolina (or some other southern state). Instead of playing to the crowd and lamenting about how black people are suffering from discrimination in America, he preached self-improvement and self-reliance. Obama is a second generation American, whose father is Kenyan.

Of course as a non-American, my primary concern for the President of the United States is what his or her foreign policy will be. On this front, I’m hopeful that Obama’s proposed approach of using soft power to advance America’s interests will be more effective than simply brandishing their military might at every turn. He has even proposed engaging traditional enemies like Syria in dialogue, something the Bush administration has steadfastly refused to do.

The US President has such a big impact on so many countries beyond just America. I hope more Americans realise the weight of responsibility that rests on their shoulders as they choose their next leader.


Author: Gerald Giam

Gerald Giam is the Member of Parliament for Aljunied GRC. He is a member of the Workers' Party of Singapore. The opinions expressed on this page are his alone.

5 thoughts on “Obama for President?”

  1. Many times I am amazed by the naievity of American electorates. American president is also the leader of the free world. With terrorists busy all over the world, Iraq problems unsolved, Iran threatening to go nuclear and destabilising the Middle East and in Afghanistan talibans raising their heads and the poppy crop becoming the only export, an American president as the leader of the free world should have knowledge and experience that transcends the borders of America and he should carry the free world and its leaders with him. It is not like electing a chairman of a computer science department. Obama comes as a nice man but his inexperience shows. As a foreigner I can only watch what my American friends are doing. They should seriously think what they are doing. If some one will ask me , it is John McCain, and I hasten to add I have no Republican leanings.

  2. Dear Gerald,

    I probably agree with you on a few areas, one of them is that I certainly do not want Hilary Clinton in the White House. My concern is that the Clintons tend to play to the gallery and often do not hold fast to their words.

    With Obama, he presents a new approach to politics in USA, yes he is inexperience but that applies to George Bush Jr as well. What is important is for Obama to surround himself with capable men of experience.

    At the end of the day, as a Singaporean, I am more concern about the man/woman who sits in the White House and his/her foreign policy/trade policy, as this will directly affect our livelihood. The last thing I want is a President who play to the gallery and start waving the Human Rights excuse as a reason to start a trade blockade.


  3. Although I am more republican leaning, I would say I would be ok with Obama if he were to win. No Hilary please. However, the person I really would like to run (and win) would be Michael Bloomberg. Having lived under his “rule” in NYC, I can say that he is capable of making the tough choices that America sorely needs and also keeps his promises. He is not an idealogue nor is he a populist. He is practical and tough minded. An example that comes to my mind is how he cancelled glass recycling for 2 years but promised to bring it back the moment the deficit was solved (in NYC). This action did not bring him much love amongst the enviromentally friendly of which there are many there but in the end he did bring it back. Another show of his toughness was his willingness to stand down on the striking transport union.

    If bloomberg doesn’t run, Mccain would be another choice for me.

  4. Anon – Interesting that you mentioned Bloomberg. Another friend also mentioned him. I was told he might be running as an independent. Can you verify?

    Jack – I used to think McCain was the best among a weak field of candidates, but as much as I admire his experience, I think the man is too old to be President.

    Newcastle – I’m hopeful that Obama will be mature enough not to be the type that plays to the gallery only. Indications suggest he will take quite a refreshing approach to foreign policy by using soft power.

  5. Sigh. Hilary won New Hampshire. :( I guess her crocodile tears had helped to move some voters to her camp.

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