The results are in and Barack Obama decisively won the Iowa Caucus. His win in Iowa, which is over 90% white, suggests that his message of change resonates with voters. By beating Hillary Clinton by over 9 percentage points, he has also proven that a Clinton is not untouchable. That being the case, it is no mistake that Hillary's husband, former President Bill Clinton, was known as the comeback kid. When he ran for President, he did not win the Iowa Caucus but still managed to become Commander in Chief. That history of coming from behind will most likely benefit Hillary who still has the opportunity to prove that she can become the first female President of the United States.
Given Obama's success and his obvious ties to Kenya, I have been waiting to hear his take on the current post election violence in that country. So far, he has called for a peaceful resolution by stating,
"Despite irregularities in the vote tabulation, now is not the time to throw that strong democracy away. Now is a time for President Kibaki, opposition leader Odinga, and all of Kenya's leaders to call for calm, to come together, and to start a political process to address peacefully the controversies that divide them,"Although one must acknowledge that this is a busy time for the man aspiring to be America's first black President, I do wish that he could do more to assuage the violent situation which is developing into a tribal bloodbath as Luo (a Kenyan tribe) turn against the Kikuyu (another tribe from central Kenya) and people kill each other. Unfortunately, Kenyan officials have declared that they want the rest of the world to mind its business. That will obviously limit Obama 's ability to have an impact.
I am curious about what African leaders have to say to Kibaki who has now clamped down on citizen's rights and has seemingly turned a blind eye to the tribal killings and the many Kenyans that are now hungry. Have those same leaders spoken to the opposition leader, Odinga, who continues to fan the flames of intense anger? Has Mbeki issued a statement? Or better yet, has Yardy said anything about the Kenyan situation? Have African leaders decided to close ranks the way they do on almost every issue? Anyway, what could Yardy say considering the circumstances under which he became President of Nigeria and the ongoing accusations that he is not really a champion of anti-corruption? 'Soiled hands' limit the credibility of most African leaders, but Obama, whose message of change is positive enough to have an effect beyond America's shores. And, as the son of a Kenyan, it would be within his birthright to intervene.
I hope that someone or something can help to remedy the situation. After the Hutu/Tutsi conflict in Rwanda, every person should be averse to anything resembling genocide. I am not saying that Kenya is experiencing genocide, but I am saying that it only takes one spark for a ticking time bomb to explode and so, Kenyans, Africans and the world must work encourage a peaceful solution before things get potentially worse.
- In Search Of Democracy: Obama, Kenya, Nigeria