Expecting more than a spin cycle from victorious Obama
by TULIP SIDDIQ: AS I started the scintillating task of doing all my washing from the last two weeks of being in the US, I found a sorry looking Yes we can – Obama 08 sticker at the bottom of my washing machine. Whilst trying to fish it out without ruining my manicure,
AS I started the scintillating task of doing all my washing from the last two weeks of being in the US, I found a sorry looking 'Yes we can - Obama 08' sticker at the bottom of my washing machine.
Whilst trying to fish it out without ruining my manicure, I started fantasising about helping out on the Obama '12 campaign. A little early I know, but that's what laundry-boredom does to you!
Obviously Obama will stand again and will probably be facing a tough Republican opponent in Sarah Palin (with Joe the plumber as her running mate). By then, she may have extended her reading list beyond the Wasilla Frontiersman to become a more formidable adversary. Then again, she'll probably blow her chances in the first Presidential debate because she won't know which continent Pakistan is in.
By the time I had taken all my socks out, my mind wandered a little further into the future and I gazed into my soapy crystal ball to 2016, when Obama would be standing down from his second term. What might the world look like and what achievements might Obama be looking back on?
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He will reflect on how daunting his task looked when he was sworn in; inheriting a country in the midst of a severe financial calamity and embroiled in two wars, not to mention a society which contains a significant number of inhabitants who still harbour deep suspicions of the name Barack Hussein Obama.
However, he will look back on the opportunities his victory gave him. An enormous mandate for change, majorities in congress, massive support among America's Net generation and a wave of international goodwill.
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No doubt he will have built upon the success of his grassroots campaign and striven to reinvigorate American society, engaging disillusioned citizens into everyday life, which will empower previously unheard sections of society.
This will be fundamental to tackling the root causes of terrorism and appease some of the fears right wing Americans may have had. Getting his own house in order will have helped Obama re-establish America's credibility as a bastion of freedom. This will provide those who seek to preach hate against America with less ammunition. It will have helped to heal relationships with certain states that were previously at odds with the USA, offering new opportunities for peace and prosperity.
As he looks forward to his 55th birthday Obama will probably be battling with the teenage Malia about her curfew and simultaneously reflecting on his achievements in Iraq. With American troops back on US shores and recognition that Iraq is an independent country which America cannot bully into making constitutional reforms, he will have left Iraq stable, democratic and with a prosperous future.
As I decided to hang my clothes rather than tumble dry them (two weeks Stateside with the current exchange rate has hit me hard!), I thought about what economic achievements Obama can hope for.
Hopefully his progressive taxation will have led to an economic recovery. He will have made higher education more affordable by providing increased tax credit for educational assistance to students on low incomes, creating a more skilled workforce along with his idea of providing training for jobs in technology so that companies can employ workers from within the US.
Sitting in his solar-powered Oval Office, Obama will reflect upon his investment in renewable energy sources and fuel infrastructure and its success in creating an innovative job sector. This will have helped to reduce both unemployment and America's enormous carbon footprint.
As for healthcare, his programme will have worked so well that India, China and Russia will have been inspired to use the blueprint, redeploying some of their massive military spending to blossoming healthcare systems.
As the spin-cycle reaches the end, my mind returns to 2008. We already have Obama O's Cereal which promises a breakfast of change. Who wants to place their bets on a Barack video game for X-box and a summer blockbuster about the Obamas (Barrocky maybe?). By the next election, we should also have cheerleading squads of both sexes with chants of 'Baracking the Vote' and he'll win the youth vote by a landslide because his campaigning videos on Youtube will be so effective.
As for me, I'll either be so rich that I'll have someone to do my washing or perhaps science will be so advanced that there will be robots to keep my shirts clean.
Since I work in politics, I'm betting on the robots!