obama wins

The American Elections

My debut at Nova.



Of course, the whole world now knows that Barack Obama has been elected as America's first Black President. But long before Barack decided to run for the White House, I was a supporter of this genius politician*. So it had to be that I followed the battle closely from the beginning to the end. Actually even a little more than that. I've been to rallies and on a few occasions even helped on the "grass roots" level.

It was truly indescribable to be a part of this historic event. No wonder I was super excited when I was asked to join Nova. I really grabbed the opportunity to talk about Obama and the election with both hands. I know Nederland 3 and Nova all too well from when I lived in the Netherlands, so the program and Twan Huys were not unknown to me either.

Mireille Liong on NovaThe reactions I received from you after the broadcast were all, very nice. Many of you were pleasantly surprised to see an afro for a change on the current affairs program and to hear my views on the US election. I can only say that every e-mail has been read with great pleasure and much appreciated. Thanks!

The reactions of my American friends were also heartwarming. Immediately after future President Barack Obama gave his speech, friends called and texted to congratulate me. I thought that was great. Especially since we had quite a few debates during the election campaign.

In the beginning, when almost no one really knew him, I told them about who he was, his book and that I believed he had a chance. Skeptical as they were about the chances of a Black man in America, I gave them the example of Oprah Winfrey. If someone had told you 30 years ago that a black woman who continuously struggles with her weight would be the biggest player in media land, would you have believed it?

Election Plaza NY

Of course, being in charge of media land is completely different from being in charge and running a country, but against that argument I confidently countered what his charming and at least equally intelligent wife Michelle Obama said from the start; give people time to get to know Barack. And so history was made.

America has learned that Barack Obama, who started at the bottom by organizing at the community center to help the poorest people, went to law school at the prestigious Harvard University for the same purpose and eventually entered politics, without losing sight of his goal. So one of his mottos is: Politics didn't lead me to working folks. Working folks led me to politics. A very admirable road that has never been traveled before, and commands even more respect.

Now looking forward to the inauguration on January 20. Even then, history will be made. The tickets that should be free can no longer be ordered and are therefore offered for 1000s of dollars on Ebay. It is as they say here "the hottest ticket in town". I too look forward to this happy occasion with the realization that President Barack Obama will not have it easy.

America is in recession and desperately trying to avoid a depression while still embroiled in two wars that only increase the budget deficit. While I hold my breath, I also understand that no challenge is too great for a president's ambition. Indeed, many American presidents have stated that their greatness has not been fully manifested because there were no wars or other major crises during their period. Well, it should be clear that future President Barack Obama has nothing to complain about in that regard.

It certainly won't make the gargantuan challenges the new President will face any less complicated or easier, but the enthusiasm and commitment sparked by the incoming President has at least made the American people seem one again. That, is a step in the right direction and that creates hope.