April 21, 2008

'Obama' campaigning for 'Obama', in Japan

If election campaigns are dramas, then the Presidential campaigns of US are the most captivating. Or you can say their campaigns are very much sophisticated multi-act dramas. It seems very much engaging. They look like highly polished marketing campaigns.

Many nations still have ‘monologues’ instead of such engaging plays. Russia has Putin’s monologue continuing for the time being. Mugabe doesn’t want to hide behind the curtain and is trying to do whatever he can to continue his one-man show. Chinese communists increased their tenure a couple of months ago without ‘much noise’ among people. Myanmar and North Korea have guns in the ‘lead role’.

My first impressions of American Presidential campaigns date back to 1992 when Bill Clinton was challenging Bush senior (Ross Perot was the third candidate). I was in China at that time. I didn’t have much knowledge of American party politics, democrats or republicans. Until then, America was America for me and I had very little knowledge on policy differences between these two parties.

Bush was very much popular in China. He was the US ambassador to China during seventies. I am not clear about the other reasons except this but Chinese communists were praying for his reelection. When Bush lost, they were very sad. We used to joke about that.

Being a superpower (the sole one from 1990s), American presidents have always commanded the attention of the whole world. So people around the world watch election campaigns very eagerly. Year 2000 may go down into history as the ‘most famous American presidential election’. It was around then that I started to have some good views about democrats. I wished for Kerry’s victory in 2004.

I wish Hillary could win this time but her nomination seems almost impossible. This is purely my personal affection. They call her calculating, cold, ‘does anything to win’ etc. but all of them are doing the same. In my opinion she will be a very good president, much better than all from the last half century. But Hillary may lose this race. The greatest lesson that any ambitious young girl can take from Hillary’s political life is that ‘Don't marry into the same profession!’. She is better than Bill Clinton, but he got the ‘first chance’ and when she wanted to try herself, she couldn’t detach his presidency from her image. Her road to presidency might have been much easier if she wasn’t ex-first lady. Just some personal thoughts.

Actually, if you forget about ‘personality’ or ‘body language’, it is not much different for the world, whether they elect a democrat or a republican. I think a democrat would also attack Iraq. I read somewhere that every American president wants to be remembered as a wartime president. One of Bill Clinton’s greatest worries, according to his friends, is that he didn't have a chance to serve as a wartime president. But he was no less aggressive. It was in his time that Kosovo was separated from Serbia. It might be a good decision but no one, whether a democrat or a republican, will even try to confront China like that, say for Tibet. Bill Clinton denied Boutros Ghali the second term as UN Secretary General without any reason. US just disliked him. US, the freedom messiah will always befriend countries like Saudi Arabia with medieval rules. Americans have created a great country for themselves but their world policies are generally determined by resources and not by human rights, democracy etc which they say.
Japanese media covers American Presidential campaigns very well. My feeling is that Japan doesn’t have any preference between democrat and republican. They will always have good relations with the US.
There is a small coastal city called Obama in Japan (I haven’t been there). People there are very much enthusiastic about this election. They are ‘campaigning’ for Barak Obama. They have sent him gifts too. They hope Obama as the US president will boost their Obama city! Curious people may go to visit that city or people may get interested to buy their products.

Hillary also has a campaign team in Japan, but not a whole city. A machinery factory is ‘supporting’ her.

Please follow the link below for more.

Obama and Hillary campaigns in Japan


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  2. Basanta Ji,

    I would like to put forth few of my observations.

    15 months ago, she was undisputed front runner, everyone expected her to blaze away with nomination. But suddenly there stood this tenacious guy Barack Obama, who is the current front runner. He completely changed how political campaign is done, he was against Mr. & Mrs. Democratic Party, but somehow he made up for his lack of brand appeal. This speaks volume of his campaign.

    It's unlikey that one of these candiate will win by people vote (as the votes to elect delegates were almost equally splitted), they will require votes from elected party official. It will be interesting to see if party leaders (superdelegates) would go against the candiate who has earned more votes & Delegates playing by the party rule, and rob him the nomination because the Clintons say so. That's the only way Clinton can win now.

    For me, Hilary claims the Presidency, and act like this guy Barack is just another person in her way. Hilary has very low political approval (higher than Bush), and more people disbelieve her (these were found after national poll, not an opinion of some analyst).

    I'm not being sexiest here, but as a outsider I feel she is still getting votes because women want her to be the President no matter what, and I think white still can't imagine a colored President.

    I had a lot of respects for the Clintons, but more this campaign prolongs more I'm hating her (and Bill). This campaign has been sucessfull in potraying the other side of the Clintons.

    Politicians are politicians no matter who win, but I clearly see Clinton being very negative. Perhaps, that's the only way they can win now, try proving that Barack is very bad no matter if it's true or not.

  3. Thank you Prajwoljee. You know more than me about the American politics. I was just writing some observations from distance, that too tainted with my preference of Hillary. From whatever I know from media, it seems their campaign is going too negative and may be hurting the Dem's chance in November.
    By the way, I have started to like McCain very much. Though he is a republican, he seems to be a moderate, the type of leaders this chaotic world needs right now. I may be wrong, hope to hear from you.

  4. Basanta Ji,

    I don't know much either, but to my advantage being physically present in US I am exposed to this a lot.

    John McCain is a liberal Republican, even the conservative republican dislike him. I have no problem with him, as he stands the same ground on immigration and environment with other two democratic candidates. He however differs on War, Economy, and Health Care.

    Hilary is claiming that she has better experience to be Commander in Chief than Barack Obama, come November if she is the nominee of democratic party then she would look like dwarf in front of McCain with that argument. McCain has loads and loads of experience.

    But, the latest argument in US is "if the current trend of politics, economy, and policy is good for the american people or they need some changes". Barack Obama is using "change and hope" in his campaign, that's why a lot of people (democrats, independents, and even some moderate republicans) are supporting this relatively unknown candidate.