Son of an African father and a white mother, lawyer from Harvard graduate and Senator of Illinois, Barack Obama who faces Hilary Clinton in the democratic presidential race, after his win in South Carolina primary, has officially received endorsement from one part of Kennedy’s family last weekend.
Even if Clinton, his democratic leading rival won Florida on Sunday, he has opted to concentrate on next week’s “Super Tuesday” contests in states such as New York, California, Missouri and Georgia. A crucial day in the US presidential race.
Victory at Primary in South Carolina
Obama was looking to South Carolina’s vote in the first Southern primary of the 2008 nomination season for a rebound after disappointing losses to Clinton in New Hampshire and Nevada, which followed his win in Iowa at the beginning of the month.
After the outcome, in his victory speech he stressed his position of conciliator “… give American people a reason to believe again”. Then, he emphasised a new vision for changes and a rupture with the current American situation, by adding “(…) what we’ve seen in these last weeks is that we are also up against forces that feed the habits that prevent us from being who we want to be as a nation. (…) It’s a politics that tells us that we have to think, act, and even vote within the confines of the categories that supposedly define us. The assumption that poor don’t vote, that African-American cannot support a white candidate, that whites cannot support an African-American candidate, that Blacks and Latinos cannot come together … We are here tonight to say that it is not the America we believe in...” This illustrates his power of seduction which is based on the idea that he incarnates something different, far from the American divide.
And the endorsement from Senator Ted Kennedy and Caroline Kennedy, JFK’s daughter, as “a new generation leadership”, announced at the beginning of this week, highlights it. She wrote an article in the New-York Times called “A President like my father”, in which she explains “Over the years, I’ve been deeply moved by the people who’ve told me they wished they could feel inspired and hopeful about America the way people did when my father was president.” (…) “We have that kind of opportunity with Senator Obama. It isn’t that the other candidates are not experienced or knowledgeable. But this year, that may not be enough. We need a change in the leadership of this country, just as we did in 1960.”
Other endorsements are coming from politicians like Richard Codey (president of the New Jersey State Senate) or Elizabeth B. Moynihan (widow of a Senator who shepherded Clinton as his successor in the US Senate) ; from stars (Matt Damon, George Clooney, Oprah Winfrey) or again some newspapers.
A growing popularity and a will to change beyond races debate
Obama is able to federate people beyond racial criteria and seeks to transcend races. And one of the most worrisome question to his strategists, who have worked to calibrate a race-neutral candidate, was: “Will Mr. Obama emerge identified by his race?” And after outcomes in Iowa and South Carolina, the answer could hopefully be “No”. Indeed, a win in the Iowa caucus, a very conservative state, and the outcome of South Carolina primary, a State where Secession War has begun, could reveal that Obama’s vote is not based on a question of colour and race. Thanks to his extraordinary forensic skill, with emotional lyrics and as a charismatic leader, he has the ability of captivating the crowd and could be considered as a symbol of reconciliation between American ethnicities, politics, and a symbol of change.
Senators Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, are two democrat candidates of talent and political dexterity. With Obama’s raising popularity, and as they have both shown an actual capacity to draw a crowd, they are celebrity candidates and historical figures as Obama is seeking to become the first black president, and Clinton, the first woman ; looking now forward to next “Super Tuesday”.