Will Obama Deliver The Change He Promises?

Many couldn't believe it could happen but it has. The USA will see an African-Amercian president for the first time in history. I had my fingers crossed yesterday but victory for Obama never really looked in that much doubt.

It was the most expensive campaign in American history fought over a period of 22 months with many twists and turns. Originally the key issue was Iraq but when the economic crisis happened in September it changed the course of the election.

As mentioned in a previous post both Obama and McCain used new media, internet, social networking very effectively to deliver their message. In doing so they have successfully gained a massive turnout at the polls from people who may not have normally voted. Obama has successfully engaged with different communities and his message has motivated young people. Even 'ghetto street kids' in Harlem know his name. His campaign has been helped tremendously by endorsements from people like Oprah Winfrey, Kanye West, Bruce Springsteen, and other media and music icons.

The success of Obama signifies a shift in thinking in the US which will be felt around the rest of the world. Gordon Brown has indicated his support and says he will be looking forward to working with him. The Indian Prime Minister, Manmohan Singh, has also congratulated Barack Obama on his victory and hopes it will lead to better ties with the US and India.

While there were many issues that came up, the issue of race is one that couldn't be ignored. His victory will be especially poignant for African Americans who lived through the civil rights unrest. In the South of the US it was a long time before African Americans could even vote. People like Martin Luther King, Malcolm X and others gave there whole life to the struggling for equality and justice for African Americans. The Obama win is built on their struggle and would not have been possible without them.

However, people should not forget other issues like Business and Foreign policy. Obama will have a tough time with state of the economy and will have to provide business with some hope. As far as foreign policy goes I was a little uneasy at his inflexible stance of 'just fighting and catching the bad guys'. Many people in other parts of the world hoped that he would have a more progressive stance to foreign policy. They may be disappointed with his position which is not much more moderate than the McCain alternative.

Whatever happens now Obama has a difficult road ahead and a lot to live up to. This should not take away from this victory has achieved. It is all certainly a step in the right direction...