The speech and the pictures from Berlin did it all. I am a news and political junkie (no apologies) and have been keenly following the US presidential election ever since Iowa set things rolling in December of last year. Until today, I had been caucious about Barack Obama – I mean I read his two books and saw in him a great person but I never really bought the idea that he is the man the United States and the world needs right now.
In Berlin, Obama won me over. More than 200,000 Europeans and citizens of the world (I saw some Angolans in the crowd) showed up to hear him speak about world unity and the idea that we can change things and make life better – however marginally – if we choose to. What won me over was not Obama the person – for I have always admired Obama the achiever – but the idea that he embodies. The idea that this is the time for change and that he can mobilize not just his fellow Americans but citizens of the world into action for a worthy cause.
People like Obama – who can inspire millions – are hard to come by and I think that is why the world over most have come to like this son of a one time goat herder as he likes to remind everyone listening. It is my hope that America will realize how much of a difference it will make to have a president that can inspire beyond their own borders and vote Democratic. But then again knowing Americans (well sort of since I’ve only been here for three years) a part of me still remains apprehensive about the sincerity of the poll numbers I am seeing so nothing is a safe bet yet untill I see Barack Obama on the steps of the US capitol being sworn in as president next year.