As I write this post government insiders are still trying to control the fall out and do the best they can at damage control, but it is clear the damage will be hard to control.
Senator Barack Obama seems to have been too “hot” even for the opposition ODM to handle, stealing the headlines and limelight. Not to mention getting the sort of rousing reception that probably no other Kenyan politician can manage at the moment right across the nation.
The visit to the country where his father was born and bred must have been a rather emotional experience for one of the most popular politicians in the American democratic party at the moment. A man whose name will just not go away in discussions about the 2008 presidential polls in that nation.
A point everybody seems to ignore is that whatever you want to call him, Obama has Kenyan blood flowing through his veins. And the Kenyan public seems to have sensed quite rightly that this is their son for whom they have a lot to be proud about. He holds the distinction of being the first American of African descent to win any election in the US. He is only the fifth African American to serve in Congress and the only one in Congress currently.
But what seems to have endeared this liberal politician most to ordinary Kenyans is his kind of politics, last seen on these shores practiced by another son of Kenya from Luo Nyanza, one Thomas Joseph Mboya. A man who never relied on Luo votes to win a single election (ironically most of the folks who voted for him were Kikuyu). The sort of populist politics that has also been seen in the likes of JM Kariuki. Something the country is badly crying out for.
Yesterday I published a tongue-in-the-cheek open letter to the American electrorate in this blog asking the American people to release the man to run for President of Kenya incase they do not consider him suitable for office in the US. On a more serious note, the political reaility is that if push came to shove, the Americans would never accept to do that and in all likelihood and despite several public denials, chances are very high that Senator Obama’s name will ultimately appear in the list of democratic presidential hopefuls for 2008.
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