[Originally published in Hürriyet Daily News] WASHINGTON – In his recent book, “The Obama Nation,” conservative pundit Jerome Robert Corsi was criticizing the growing popularity of the then Democratic presidential candidate. If he wants to keep on, he might now consider writing a sequel: “The Obama Nations.” For now not just millions of Americans, but also billions of foreigners are inspired by the hope that the African-American president-elect spreads. In my country, Turkey, that enthusiasm is most evident in the media. This morning I took a look at the web pages of the top ten Istanbul papers, and came across more than two dozen editorials or columns celebrating the change in America. As a nation disillusioned by most foreign policy decisions of the Bush administration, and most notably the Iraq War, Turks were happy to see the march of a whole new face to the White House. A commentator was reminding us — albeit a little inaccurately — of Winston Churchill’s word of wisdom:
After celebrating Barack Obama‘s election as 44th president of the United States, the European press now has great expectations. Obama must lead the US out of the financial crisis, and above all improve relations with Europe and the world. But we must beware of excessive europhoria, the papers write.
By Bill Stewart
Obama has won, and what a victory it is! His triumph at the polls – and that’s what it is, a triumph not just a victory- goes beyond politics to say something about the soul of the American people. In record and extraordinary numbers, Americans across the country put their fears behind them and turned out to vote for a man who consistently has appealed to our better angels. If Americans had any lingering, last minute doubts, in the polling booths, they put them aside to vote for what the junior senator from Illinois has said all along he would bring us – change!
When it comes to foreign policy, the president-elect owes a debt of gratitude to George W. Bush.
Judah Grunstein looks at my New Atlanticist comment that suggests French president Nicolas Sarkozy may be positioning himself to become the new interlocutor between Moscow and Washington and agrees that Sarkozy does appear to be pursuing a policy which would make "Paris the fulcrum upon which American-EU relations pivot." Writing in World Politics Review, he observes:
Black and Asian candidates are making real progress up the British political ladder, argues Sunder Katwala.
Nobody can say when we might see a British Barack Obama. In many ways, Obama could be a once in a lifetime strike of political lightning.
The Bush administration is approaching its final days in dire disappointment in all areas. In international relations, it is a huge failure felt most severely in the greater Middle East, an area of direct concern for Turkey. The single most important reason for this great fiasco is the almost total domination of US President George W. Bush’s foreign policy by the political program and personnel of the neoconservatives, especially after 9/11.
I had developed a theory prior to the election of Barack Obama as US president that Turkey was among those nations which had grown comfortable with the notion of an unpopular and discredited America, and that there might be an awkward period of adjustment while Ankara tried to accept the notion that the US might enjoy at least a honeymoon period of international goodwill.
The White House chief of staff is the highest-ranking member of the Executive Office of the President of the United States and a senior aide to the president. It is, therefore, of the highest importance.
Like most Turks, I am very happy that Barack Hussein Obama has been elected the next president of the United States. The US is still the global leader, and whatever happens there or whatever it does inevitably affects Turkey.
NEW YORK –
The winner of America’s presidential election will inherit a perfect storm of problems, both economic and international. He will face the most difficult opening-day agenda of any president since – and I say this in all seriousness – the man who saved the Union, Abraham Lincoln. But a more instructive precedent is 1933, when Franklin Roosevelt offered inspiring rhetoric and “bold experimentation” to a nation facing economic meltdown and a breakdown in public confidence.
American Muslims overwhelmingly voted Democratic
Lorraine Ali,NEWSWEEK, November 7, 2008
For the past few months, not a day went by without the words “Muslim” and “Obama” being mentioned in the same sentence. From the divisive shouts and jeers at McCain rallies to the Op-Ed pages of The New York Times to an interview with Colin Powell on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” Muslims—or at least the mention of them—have been more prevalent this campaign year than “Joe the Plumber.”
If you followed or were at all interested in the 2008 presidential election, this seven-part series by a group of Newsweek reporters is a must read. The reporters were granted exclusive access to the campaigns of Barack Obama, John McCain, and Hillary Clinton for a year on the condition that they wouldn’t print anything until after the election was over. The series, of which the first three parts are currently up on the Newsweek site, is a fascinating look at how the political process works and contains all manner of salacious political gossip.