Wednesday, October 22, 2008

A Race Intriguing!

I've been following the US election scene with keen interest and a slightly higher involvement than an Indian guy living in Russia would. One can argue that these elections are crucial to the world, what with the unipolar nature of our times, but I think they aren't really so significant to the average citizen. Outside Iraq, only the intelligentsia and the informed fret over the misdeeds of Bush era and the rest live in blissful ignorance of the goings-on, perhaps rightly so. Nevertheless, the informed need to exercise their grey cells, and I do it with remarkable regularity - I spend atleast an hour a day scanning the news about the US Presidential elections!
I started tracking the race, expecting Hillary Clinton to be in control, led to that belief by the mainstream world media and opinion polls by a large measure. But Obama beat her to the race atleast upto the Democratic nomination, and I must say that I wasn't impressed initially. I thought Obama was just another smooth talking politician who the American public thinks will make a charming President! Like they voted for Bush because 'he's a great guy to have a beer with!'. Ofcourse, my assessment of Obamania was clouded with my prejudices about the legendary stupidity and gullibility of American public.
As I read more about Obama, and heard him talk, I was really inspired by his remarkable story and rise from nowhere. And the Republican negative tactics, aided by Sarah Palin's antics made me subscribe more to Obama's vision than ever. The opinion polls show him leading, and that should give comfort to his followers. But his race is still a factor. Obama might be a great man, but he is black! So no one really knows if people who publicly support him will go vote for him on the d-day! Analysts say the race is tighter than the polls show. What the......?!
Interestingly, Obama has had luck going on his side, with an Act of God in the form of precipitation in money markets coming at the right time! Yes people are affected, but Obama is winning! Its a case of hope scavenging on despair, and all for the 'greater good'! One can't be too naive in such circ.s to think that the turn of events shouldn't be exploited by him.
The latest Act of God to help his cause is his Grandmother falling gravely ill! The black man has a white Grandmother, originating from the heartland of America and just to remind people about his White side, she is on deathbed two weeks before the election. So the front pages are suddenly splashed with an impeccably dressed grey-haired white woman hugging Obama. That's the exact stereotype that expressed fear for Obama until recently, calling him 'terrorist' and 'arab'! And there you have 'one of them' hugging him and claiming to have brought him up, imbibing the white values! Wouldn't that do wonders for him, to quells fears about his alleged secret agenda?
It's a tragedy that she is dying, but she is up for her turn anyway being 85 years of age. And on her way out, she's doing her bit for her grandson's ascent to the Top Job without uttering a single word! None of the Analysts can come out in the open and say that this is helping Obama immensely. None of them are ready to admit that his decision to suspend campaign and be at his ailing white grandmother's side was perhaps a brilliant and calculated campaign tactic. At one stroke it shows his human side, builds a family story and quells fears about his race, all helping his cause for the big job! And two weeks before elections! God does want Obama to win, doesn't he?
Can you blame the McCain camp if they are muttering, 'Why does that old bitch have to die now?'

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