Only 8 years old, this century has accumulated so many national and international events that historians can stack several volumes on natural and man-made events. More recently, this country and the world have suffered calamities of biblical proportion, from tsunamis in parts of Asia to hurricanes in the United States.
Now that so much money is needed to assist millions of people at home and abroad who have suffered repeated natural disasters, these United States are facing an economic tsunami commensurate to the Great Depression of the 1930’s. In fact, the present situation is even more tragic. Losses that were estimated in millions 78 years ago are counted in trillions today with even more consequential reverberation on the world global economy.
Thus, parroting a Haitian say, “when the United States receive a punch on the nose, the whole world cries”.
These new front stage events occurred at the time existing conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan couple with concerns about active rebellious insurgents and disgruntled sacrificial Muslims, coupled with increasing nuclear danger in Iran and North Korea, unclear position of Pakistani’s military and government, possessors of nuclear armament, vis-à-vis Al Qaida and Ben Laden. In addition, the recent strong intervention of Russia in Georgia and its coming marine maneuver with Venezuela have the appearance of a repeat cold war.
It is again this background that the two presidential candidates, Senator Republican John McCain and Senator Democrat Barack Obama will meet for a debate in Mississippi, next Friday, September 26, 2008. The theme selected for this first debate is diplomacy/foreign relations. This was decided long before the financial debacle and other events at home and abroad. Now, can these two candidates spend the whole time allotted to them talking about what they will do in supposedly foreign relations when the national economy is in jeopardy? They would look like two neighbors discussing the quality of the grass on their front yards when their homes that caught fire are burning.
During the campaign, it was often question of whose candidate was better- qualified to be commandant in chief? Questions were also raised about who had more foreign relations experience? However, like at the time of Bill Clinton presidential campaign, the main question today is the ECONOMY. Although Congress has the responsibility and the power to decide on the course of action to be taken, the next president who will have to oversee its application must have the prudent judgment to bring together in consultation the most competent individuals in the related fields and used them as his brain trust to help him make the wise decisions.
Even before any Congress deliberation, Barack Obama called a meeting of his economic advisers and publicly presented himself with 7 of them among whom were Buffet, the respected billionaire, Paul Volcker, former president of the Federal Reserve Bank, Larry Summers, former Treasury secretary and Robert Ruben, who at the same position in the Clinton’s Government was largely responsible for the economic prosperity then and the surplus left by President Clinton. Then Obama said: “I will refrain from presenting a more detailed blueprint of how an immediate plan might be structured until I can fully review the details of the plan proposed by the Treasury and the Federal Reserve,”
Today, Michele Obama in an e-mail remaining the population of the first presidential debate on Friday, Sept. 26, at 9 p.m., write: “Barack will share his plan to bring the change we need — to restore our place in the world, ensure security at home and abroad, and reestablish the United States as the world’s economic leader. This is a great opportunity for you to learn more about the issues.”
Whatever you say or whatever you do at any moment will catch up with you later. This was true last century and it is more obvious now that anyone can record your words and your image with just a cellular phone. Any error, slip or neglect car be emphasized, dissected, truncated, generally against you, with the hope of embarrassing or hurting you.
Although this is the possible case for anyone in any walk of life, it seems to be more evident in politics. To avoid crucifixion any time in public life, a person who intends to enter the political arena must think at least twice before saying or doing anything, without any guarantee that the words or the actions will not be thwarted and voluntarily misinterpreted by anyone who want to attack and destroy you.
Looking at recent and current political events in Haiti and in the United States, one could question why people in both countries want to expose themselves to public scrutiny? Occasionally, someone may be taken by surprise and obliged to play the game of political candidate.
This was the case for Michele Duvivier Pierre-Louis, who after refusing more than once in the past the offer of Prime Minister at more tranquil period of Haiti’s social, political and economic life, finally accepted to confront a decadent and disastrous national situation, top by excessive demands of an uncontrollable Legislature.
Her past experience as a student, a professor, a business manager, a multimillion dollar agency director has honed her ability to lead in difficult time like this. The courage and determination with which she faced the intrusion of her intimacy and subsequently the way she conducted negotiations to be approved according to new legislature interpretations of articles 117 and 158 of the Constitution, regardless of antecedent procedures, proved her adaptability to difficult situations and her capacity to tackle them. The national devastation caused by four successive hurricanes is an enormous task for her to face appropriately.
Here in the United States, the two presidential candidates are facing situations of disproportionate dimensions. Both of them had time, however, to prepare for these attacks. Although the democratic presidential candidate is 24 years younger than the republican presidential candidate John McCain, it seems that Senator Barack Obama began to prepare himself for this competition earlier than Senator McCain.
There is no evidence that when senator McCain was elected to the Senate some 26 years ago that he intended to aspire to the presidency.
At that time Obama, had already shown his leadership as the first black student to be chosen by an a mostly white student body as the editor of the prestigious Harvard Law Review. After that, he was qualified for a well-paid position at a big Wall Street law firm.
Instead, he chose a $12,000 a year position as a community organizer.
That job allowed him to mingle with the people, learn to know them and serve them. Then he decided to enter the world of politics because already he had high aspirations. Elected State Senator in Illinois, he realized that he would not reach his ultimate goal unless he became a U.S. senator. From this new position, he made himself appreciated and respected by his peers, including Senator McCain, with whom he cooperated on occasion.
While Senator McCain is making his second presidential bid, Senator Obama is pursuing systematically his HOPE to become the first president of the United States who happen to be Black. He can expect to realize that because he has learned to anticipate and fashion his leadership accordingly.